Assemblywoman Annie Rabbitt (R,C,I-Greenwood Lake) remains a strong opponent of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to close the Mid-Orange Correctional Facility; however, despite her ardent opposition to the governor’s decision, she is focusing on ensuring the employees of the prison remain employed and helping the Town of Warwick obtain as much of the $50 million in economic development funding as possible and other economic development measures to help the town move forward successfully.
“I am adamantly against the governor’s decision to close Mid-Orange; however, I am working with the governor’s office and the state Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) to ensure that every employee of the prison remains employed and the Town of Warwick gets as much as possible of the $50 million economic development aid available,” said Assemblywoman Rabbitt.
In his Executive Budget, Governor Cuomo proposed closing 3,500 beds from the state’s prison system to help consolidate expenses and reduce state spending. On June 29, 2011, DOCS reported that out of 64,115 total available prison beds, 8,202 beds were currently empty. Earlier this month, he announced that seven prisons in the state would be closed because these prisons were not at full capacity, including Mid-Orange. Assemblywoman Rabbitt immediately called the governor’s office and was assured that all 320 employees would be reassigned to other facilities.
Assemblywoman Rabbitt has been actively working with the governor’s office to ensure no employees lose their jobs and that the town receives as much economic development aid as possible. She said, “I have spoken with the governor’s office many times since the announcement was made, and I will continue working with them to make sure my constituents are heard and treated fairly.”
“The governor’s transition team will be releasing more information in the coming weeks regarding his decision and how he hopes to help employees and municipalities cope with the closure of Mid-Orange. Human Resource officials will be meeting with employees at the facility next week to further discuss transfer and continued employment options with them,” said the assemblywoman.