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Officials, residents, administrators speak out to Assemblyman Brindisi on state budget

By HILARY LANE

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi held a two hearings Thursday in order to listen to the public's concerns about the state budget.

At the second of his two sessions, the first in Rome, the second in North Utica, dozens of people including officials, school administrators, and residents showed up to make sure their voices are heard.

Most asked the assemblyman to advocate for more money than is already allocated in the proposed state budget for their specific cause and others asked Brindisi to support proposed legislation.

"I have received a number of letters from many different agencies, so it's nice to have them here today to speak about this in a public forum and discuss their concerns, so I can go back to my conference and advocate for their programs they are interested in," said Brindisi.

Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri was present at the meeting and spoke about the financial plight of the city. Also present was Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, asking for increased mandate relief in next year's state budget.

"It is important to let our local delegation know and the opportunity for the public to hear about what the costs are so they can reiterate to them that it is about the taxpayer," said Picente.

A handful of non-profits were also at the meeting, upset that state funding for their organization had been cut. School administrators also asked for more aid.

Brindisi said there isn't enough money to cover everyone's requests, but he will do what he can.

The proposed state budget is currently in the hands of the legislature. Brindisi will now go back to the assembly and advocate for the causes he heard about at the meeting.

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