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Sheriff to State Officials: Fund Local Communities Not Migrants


Cayuga County’s sheriff is expressing his dissatisfaction with Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposed state budget.

Sheriff Brian Schenck shared with Finger Lakes News Radio a letter he has sent to the state elected officials representing Cayuga County.  In it, he expresses his growing concern over the southern border crisis’ impact on public safety in Cayuga County as well as the fiscal impact the governor’s proposed budget would have on local schools and budgets.

Citing the strain increased numbers of migrants coming to places like New York City are having on local resources necessary to house and care for them as well as the potential for fentanyl and other illegal drugs to be smuggled across the border, Schenck is calling on officials to act in their capacity to address the border issue.

While acknowledging the need to provide humanitarian aid for those across the border, he writes that an “open border” is not the answer.

“Our national leaders must explore alternative solutions to assist with the humanitarian needs of those living beyond our borders. Leaving our border open is not the answer. It is not sustainable as we are already seeing,” Schenck wrote.

Tying in with this, the sheriff is also sharing his disapproval of certain aspects of the governor’s proposed budget. His main issue, as stated in the letter, is that the budget sets aside two billion dollars to support migrants in New York City while simultaneously cutting local funding to Cayuga County schools. Citing what he calls a growing mental health crisis, Schenck says now is not the time to cut aid to schools.

“Our schools desperately need this funding to address our children’s educational needs as well as a growing mental health crisis that will undoubtedly present additional challenges for us moving forward,” Schenck stated. “Funding should be directed back to our school districts as well as to our community to address a growing crisis with homelessness and other local public safety needs.”

The sheriff is urging elected officials to address the “misguided priorities in our state budget and border challenges now.”

The letter was sent Tuesday to State Senator Rachel May and Assemblymen John Lemondes, Jeff Gallahan, and Will Barclay.

A copy of the letter can be found below:

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