Cuomo Authorizes Second School Budget Vote

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order Wednesday afternoon that allows a second school budget vote for any district’s spending plan that is rejected by the public next week.

The order comes six days before the new deadline of next Tuesday, June 16 for voters to have their ballots mailed and received by district clerks. The deadline to hand-deliver ballots passed on Tuesday.

No date was set for a re-vote but it will be sometime from July 9 to July 31, according to a joint release sent by most of Westchester’s delegation to the state legislature. A future order from the governor will determine the process, procedures and the precise date for a re-vote.

The same order also continues the statewide state of emergency through July 9.

A large contingent of local state legislators and school officials applauded the decision on Wednesday.

“The extra time will allow voters to re-examine budget priorities and, hopefully, provide students with the support and resources they deserve,” said state Sen. Peter Harckham (D-Lewisboro).

“The second vote is part of the annual school district budget vote process, and today’s action will allow for that process to proceed as designed, even in these extraordinary times,” Pleasantville Superintendent of Schools Mary Fox-Alter said in a statement. “It will afford all communities the opportunity to reflect and discuss the impacts of the draconian cuts and restrictions placed upon a public school district should a district adopt a contingency budget.”

The re-vote must occur before the end of July because school districts send their tax levy to municipalities by early August.

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