Saturday, December 5

Nassau County Executive Curran Vetoes Majority Republican Budget Amendments

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Nassau County Executive Laura Curran vetoed the Legislature’s amendments to the County’s 2021 budget after she said Nassau County Republican Majority lawmakers removed a planned NIFA debt restructuring and illegally changed revenue projections next year that critical County services, employees and first responders will rely on to help Nassau residents emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. County Executive Curran called for bipartisan cooperation on the NIFA debt restructuring that would save taxpayers approximately $285 million next year by taking advantage of historically low interest rates and NIFA’s recently restored power to issue bonds on behalf of the County during the crisis.

“My administration carefully crafted the proposed budget to ensure that critical County services would continue and that County workforce levels would be maintained as we recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic downturn,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran. “Unfortunately, the Legislature’s changes would severely threaten the County’s ability to preserve vital programs and adequate staffing in 2021.”

County Executive Curran reiterated that the Legislature should now approve the declaration of need to NIFA for the restructuring, which would result in a total savings of approximately $285 million next year that would be used to fund essential County services and prioritize important public health and safety initiatives in fiscal year 2021. This would be combined with approximately $150 million in savings in 2022 from the restructuring, with additional relief from a refunding that would provide net present value savings.

“These are unprecedented times, but by restructuring NIFA and County debt with new bonds at historically low interest rates, Nassau will be able to keep essential services fully-funded throughout this pandemic,” said County Executive Laura Curran.

The Nassau County Democratic Minority has vowed to block any attempts to override the County Executive’s budget vetoes.

“Today, the Majority threw its arms around an illegal and reckless budgetary gambit – one that callously plays politics with crucial funding for our first responders and needlessly exposes Nassau residents to the threat of lost services during a pandemic,” Minority Leader Kevan M. Abrahams (D – Freeport) said. “The Minority Caucus has instead reached a responsible agreement with County Executive Curran that yields additional police medics, takes steps to support robust NICE Bus service, and provides resources for the Smart Sprinkler Reimbursement Program within the parameters of her 2021 budget. That is why we unanimously voted against the Majority’s budget amendments and will unanimously oppose any attempt to override the County Executive’s vetoes.”

The budget deal between the County Executive and the Democratic Minority:

  • Sustains a veto of illegally added and inflated sales tax revenue projections;
  • Adds more than a dozen new positions in the Health Department to protect public health, including food safety, disease investigation and control;
  • Funds the Smart Sprinkler Program through the Department of Public Works; and
  • Commits to NICE Bus restoration funding if federal aid does not arrive next year.

“To make certain the County’s pandemic recovery plan moves forward, the next step is for the Legislature to approve the declaration of need at its meeting on November 23, 2020, if not sooner,” said County Executive Curran.


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