AUBURN | The partial reprieve given to Cayuga County's libraries by the Legislature late last year came with a warning.
When legislators voted to give the libraries back half of the nearly $19,000 in funds originally omitted from the county's 2013 budget, lawmakers told library representatives that the county still intended to make cuts.
"We need to be clear that regardless of the outcome tonight, next year we will be doing the same thing," Legislator Paul Pinckney, R-Auburn, said during a December meeting.
And this week, the warning started to become a reality.
During the Legislature's Ways and Means Committee meeting Tuesday evening, legislators approved a resolution directing the county administrator to not set aside money for the libraries in the county's 2014 budget.
County Administrator Tom Squires said the county currently provides eight libraries and the Finger Lakes Library System with funding.
Legislator David Axton, R-Port Byron, advocated carrying the resolution as soon as possible. He said giving the libraries early notice would give them a chance to replace lost funding.
"I think it's a good idea to do this now," Axton said.
Axton, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, said libraries could seek replacement funds from their local school districts.
Legislator Hans Pecher, C-Genoa, said the Legislature spent a lot of time making adjustments to the county's budget on behalf of the libraries in the past, arguing it was "just time to stop" funding the organizations' operations.
"They have a source of funding," he said. "Let them utilize it."
Following a short discussion, the committee voted 5-2 to carry the resolution. Legislators Steve Cuddeback, R-Niles, and George Fearon, R-Cayuga, voted against.
The matter must make its way in front of the full Legislature before it is officially approved.
In other news:
• Without any discussion, the members of the Ways and Means Committee carried a resolution asking state lawmakers to repeal the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 — a piece of controversy-stirring legislation better known as the NY SAFE Act.
Legislator Patrick Mahunik, D-Auburn, was the only committee member who voted against the resolution seeking to overturn the newly-enacted law that created more stringent gun regulations.