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Broome County residents express concern over 2021 proposed budget allocations

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(WBNG) -- Broome County residents weighed in on the 2021 proposed budget in a public hearing with the Broome County Legislature.

Broome County Executive Jason Garnar has previously called on all departments to make cuts wherever possible and to keep spending to a minimum amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, the proposed budget amount of $402 million isn't what's concerning residents, it's how it's being distributed.

"The people of Broome County are not okay with millions and millions of dollars being spent on other people's pockets," said one resident.

Nearly every resident speaking during the public hearing expressed concern over the $29 million allocated to the Broome County Corrections Division.

"I'm not really sure why we're funding the jail when there are folks in our community that don't have safe housing, don't have housing at all. We have people that are homeless," said another resident.

Earlier this year, Black Lives Matter activists held protests calling for local law enforcement agencies to be defunded. The nine million dollars allocated to the Broome County Sheriff's Office includes adding two new deputies to the force. Residents say that money should be distributed in other ways that benefit the community.

"Build housing for 200 families instead of putting 200 more people into our county jail," said a resident.

The next public hearing is on November 14th. It will be hosted by Garnar on any items the legislature approved to strike, reduce, or increase from the original proposal. To read the proposal, head to this link.

Katie Jones

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