DSS faces shortfall under Paterson budget

NORWICH – If Governor David Paterson’s proposed 2009 budget passes through in the spring, Department of Social Services Commissioner Bette Osborne said Chenango County will lose about $370,000 in state reimbursements.

Administration costs for the state-mandated food stamp and safety net programs would be slashed, she said.

The commissioner said her department is already looking at ways to shift costs and claims in order to absorb the amount, but said she would wait to make any permanent moves until after the budget is signed.

“There’s really no need to jump because it could go in the wrong direction,” she told members of Health and Human Services Tuesday.

Administration cuts to the two programs and shifts in state funding streams for community options and youth recreation programs are the three areas in Paterson’s budget that would likely affect DSS, Osborne said.

“Legislators don’t see these as a problem because they don’t see how money filters down. They put so many bigger things in the budget that I’m worried that these little things will get missed.”

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