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Contingent Funding Approved for District Attorney Staffing, Human Services Building Assessment

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Contingent Funding Approved for District Attorney Staffing, Human Services Building Assessment

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Legislature, by unanimous vote, approved additional funding for the District Attorney’s Office, as part of the 2019 budget, to prepare for increased staffing needs created by new discovery requirements that will take effect in 2020 under New York State Criminal Justice Reform.  The Recommended 2020 Budget, now before the Legislature, includes funding requested by District Attorney Matt Van Houten to support an additional Paralegal Aide position (more than $78,000) and an additional part-time Confidential Investigator position (more than $83,000) to enable the office to meet stringent new discovery requirements under the law.  The Legislature’ action allocates $41,219 from the Contingent Fund to begin to fund these two positions in the current fiscal year to provide the District Attorney’s office with the additional resources and sufficient lead time to fill the positions before the new rules under Criminal Justice Reform take effect.

Also approved by Legislators in a separate action was another Contingent Fund request for an item requested as part of the 2020 Budget.  The Legislature, by unanimous vote, appropriated $8,300 in contingent funding to support a professional security assessment of the County’s Human Services Building, a one-time funding request from the Department of Social Services contained in the Recommended Budget.  Legislators thought it best to approve the funding now to enable the assessment to be conducted this year.