Bill would let Long Beach bond for $15 million

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   One of the bills awaiting lawmakers when they return from the Memorial Day break is a measure that would allow Long Beach to borrow $15 million to address its immediate financial troubles.

   The bill, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) and Assemb. Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach), allows the city to issue bonds to cover its current deficits. They introduced the bill in early May but tweaked the wording this week to ensure that the bonds can cover not only the city’s general fund deficit but also its sewer and water funds.

   The measure now sits in the Senate Cities Committee and the Assembly Local Government Committee.

   Long Beach is facing a $10.25 million deficit and has declared a fiscal emergency. Earlier this week, its city council approved a budget that calls for an 8 percent tax hike; it also has announced plans to layoff more than 100 employees.

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