The State Budget & The Tug Hill Commission (Updated)

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Democrats and Republicans applauded Governor Cuomo's promise to cut spending. 

But now some are puzzled about why he targeted the Tug Hill Commission. 

The commission helps small communities across four counties with their planning, zoning and grant applications. 

It has even helped make local government smaller.

"Ways we can share services and reduce the cost to the taxpayers through those cooperations and shared services. I'm very thankful for their assistance," said West Carthage Mayor Scott Burto. 

Cuomo's budget would eliminate the Tug Hill Commission.  

That's despite the fact that Cuomo promised a comprehensive review of all commissions before any are cut.

He even formed a special commission to do it, called SAGE (Spending and Government Efficiency).

Now five northern New York senators and assembly members have sent Cuomo a letter wanting to know why he's circumventing his own process.

"We're just asking that Tug Hill be treated the same way. Let them compete and be reviewed during the SAGE process," said Senator Joe Griffo (R. - 47th District).

State budget officials said they would have to look into the matter when contacted by 7 News.

Senator Griffo, though, says he had a chat with Lieutenant Governor Bob Duffy the other day and says he seemed open to reviewing the situation.

UPDATE: Jeffrey Gordon, a Division of Budget spokesman, said of the decision to eliminate funding for the Tug Hill Commission without having it go through the SAGE commission:

"This was proposed as a way to achieve immediate savings.  State agencies will make every effort to help the transition of the Tug Hill communities to the normal level of services provided across the State.  This includes provision of land use planning and training through the Department of State's existing Local Government Services program."

Friday, November 28, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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