Our County Legislature’s most important function is to allocate County resources in ways that meet the needs and values of our residents.  Not surprisingly, when our needs are many and our resources are relatively few, our values tend to get short shrift.

Tompkins County now face increasingly scarce resources under a Federal government that shows little interest in our natural, social, and cultural environments, and a State government that sometimes seems determined to bankrupt our counties.  We had to use 68% of last year’s county property tax levy to pay for unfunded mandates.  Because of New York State’s “system” for funding Medicaid, we used fully 24% of last year’s property tax levy to pay for Medicaid services provided in Tompkins County. If Congressional Republicans succeed in implementing block grant funding for Medicaid, our county share of Medicaid funding could increase even more.  What will we do then?  We cannot increase property taxes by any substantial amount: our citizens are already burdened with very high property taxes, and that burden was effectively increased by the limitation on SALT deductions imposed by Federal tax legislation passed in 2017.  At the same time, we cannot deny health care services to our residents who need them.

How we overcome the challenge of resource scarcity while maintaining the quality of life we all value will set our County’s course for years to come.  I believe the key to meeting these challenges is to build a strong, sustainable, independent economy here in Tompkins County.  That means not only increasing our tax base, but also using every means at our disposal to create jobs that pay a living wage or better, to promote our flagging retail sector, to underwrite construction of affordable and work force housing, and to expand public transit services throughout Tompkins County.  When everyone in Tompkins County thrives, everyone contributes to growing county revenues.

We have a LOT of work to do!


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Deborah’s recent Facebook posts are shared, below.

Deborah Dawson - TC Legislator for District 10

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Thank you to Anne Koreman for her support of local labor. ... See MoreSee Less

I hope you all are wearing your masks and staying at home unless you absolutely have to go somewhere. It's more dangerous than ever out there. ... See MoreSee Less

HEAD OF CLIMATE REPORT REMOVED: The White House has removed Michael Kuperberg as the head of the program that produces the National Climate Assessment, the authoritative government-wide report on climate change
Kuperberg worked as executive director of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which draws information from 13 government agencies to produce the climate report. The most recent edition came out in 2018 and was widely praised as accurately portraying the threat posed by climate change, despite concerns that Trump administration officials would tamper with the findings.
Kuperberg had ran the USGCRP since 2015 and was expected to remain there until the fifth NCA edition was completed in 2023.
The departure comes in the wake of the Trump administration hiring of David Legates, an academic at the University of Delaware who has written that "carbon dioxide is plant food and is not a pollutant ," to a newly created political position at NOAA. It also comes days after the White House tapped Betsy Weatherhead to lead the sweeping climate study. Weatherhead joined the U.S. Geological Survey after working at climate analytics firm Jupiter Intelligence.
Much of the work on the next assessment will take place during the Biden administration, Zack and Alex report, but Trump officials might still influence the report in its remaining months. Nov. 14 marks the deadline for author nominations, and a new executive director could push for the program to select nominees who have views more aligned with President Donald Trump's on climate change.
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Vote in person!! ... See MoreSee Less

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