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Albany County Legislature to vote on asylee impact tracking


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) -Deputy Minority Leader of the Albany County Legislature, Paul Burgdorf, proposed a bill that would require the county to track the financial impact of migrants within the county. That bill is expected to go to a vote in August. Information would be gathered on this group of people, with some close to home for the legislator.

Burgdorf says since Memorial Day weekend, the number of migrants in Albany County has jumped from less than 100 to around 550. “We have about 125 or 130 at the SureStay in Colonie, in my district, of which 50 are children.”

The bill passed through committee meetings with negative recommendations by Democratic lawmakers. Legislator Wanda Willingham says that information is already available, and has been used to determine the budget in years past, including using social services. “As far as social services are concerned, they break it out by zip code and it is not anything new. It has been a very transparent process.”

Willingham says she believes the federal government has the responsibility to address the influx of asylees and the impact they’re having on upstate communities. “Burgdorf speaks to the federal government and their lack of being able to provide information in regards to its border policy and administration of social services. That has nothing to do with local government.”

Burgdorf says if New York City stops paying for the asylees services, the financial impact on the county would be significant. The bill would look closely at the potential impact of asylees on taxpayer dollars, Burgdorf specifically pointing to school districts including Colonie ahead of the new academic year in September.

“There are undoubtedly going to be increased costs to the county, which we have to plan for. If we can’t plan for it, we may not be able to provide the level of service that these poor individuals need,” explained Burgdorf.

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