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Legislature debates, then approves opposition to a 'sanctuary state' ADVERTISEMENT

Legislature debates, then approves opposition to a 'sanctuary state'

PENN YAN--Yates County lawmakers decided to join the state and national immigration debate Monday, June 10 at the legislators' regular monthly meeting.
At issue: The legislature's resolution in opposition to making New York a sanctuary state. Seven residents, including Congressional candidate Tracy Mitrano and Benton Supervisor Jack Prendergast, offered their thoughts about this political designation. Six speakers voiced their opposition to the resolution. Mitrano said she opposed the resolution, saying the immigration issue should be pushed back to the federal level where it belongs. Mitrano said, "I would like to see this community (Yates County) move away from the divisiveness of the immigration issue." Mitrano said she would support a resolution to ask Congress to solve the immigration problem but this opposition resolution just divides us.
John Prendergast, Benton town supervisor, spoke in favor of the resolution to oppose the state's sanctuary status. Prendergast said as a town of Benton official and as a resident he is very concerned about the enormous cost that immigration could add in terms of taxes to support all of the people who are coming across the border illegally. Prendergast said the legislators should support this resolution to oppose the governor's idea of a sanctuary state. Other residents said the legislature should spend their time on other county issues where they can have more impact.
A roll call vote was taken and the county's resolution to oppose the state as a sanctuary state was approved.
Legislators withdrew another resolution targeted toward illegal immigrants that was originally included with the meeting agenda. This resolution (257-19) would have opposed a state senate bill that would permit undocumented individuals who are present in the United States illegally to obtain a state driver's license.
In other business:
• Melissa Holly from Yates Transit Service updated legislators on the first quarter results for 2019. Holly said their revenue was up $2491.73 during the first quarter. She also said ridership was up 352 passengers for the same time period.
• The legislature approved to conduct a public hearing for the renewal of the 2008 local law establishing an occupancy tax in the county. The tax generated $293,074 in 2008 and in 2018 the occupancy tax revenue increased to $616,574.
• Authorized the sheriff to create and fill a full time temporary correction officer position.
• Adopted a local law to establish a residency requirement for the position of county historian.
The next Yates County legislature meeting will be Monday, July 8 at 1 p.m.

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