County lawmakers urge state to raise funding for Cooperative Extension

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Oneida County legislators want the state to increase its support for Cornell Cooperative Extension county associations across New York.

A petition signed by 20 of the 23 legislators was circulated at the Oct. 11 meeting. According to the petition, state appropriations for county cooperative extension associations to match county government appropriations have been stagnant for 17 years. A doubling of state assistance, from $4 million to $8 million, is recommended.

“State funding is needed to ensure that the Cornell Cooperative Extension system can equitably work for all New York residents through increased resources to support rural, suburban and urban community development needs,” states the petition.

Copies of the document are being sent to the governor and members of his administration, as well as area state senators and Assembly members. The request is for the state’s 2018-19 fiscal year that begins April 1.

County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. is proposing to pay Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County $613,958 next year, the same amount as this year. Its programs and services serve children, youth, child care providers, landowners, farm and business operators, and local government officials.

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