Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

ALBANY - Not content with a county rollback, the Republican-led State Senate is attempting to withdraw authorization for school-zone speed cameras on Long Island.

The Senate, in its one-house version of a state budget, included a provision that would repeal authority for Nassau and Suffolk counties to install the controversial cameras.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The counties set up the speed cameras last year, but withdrew them after months of relentless pressure from constituents.

State authorization, however, is still on the books -- and that's what Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) are seeking to eliminate.

"After the Nassau County Legislature repealed it, we felt this was an appropriate course of action," a Senate official said.

Neither the Democrat-led Assembly nor Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo included the repeal in their budget proposals. The three sides are seeking to reach a budget agreement by April 1, the beginning of the state's fiscal year.

But not everyone is on board with repeal.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign, an advocacy group "dedicated to reducing car dependency" wrote a letter to lawmakers asking them to reject the Senate's initiative. The group said though the speed camera rollout was flawed it can effectively "make streets safer."

"Nassau and Suffolk counties should retain the option to revisit and improve a speed camera program, should they choose," Tri-State wrote. "This repeal completely removes the local option to pursue implantation of a better program in the future."

A spokesman for Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano didn't immediately comment on the repeal floated by the Senate. But Vanessa Baird-Streeter, spokeswoman for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, said in an email: "We are fine with the provision being as how the County Executive has said that he would not roll this program out in Suffolk County."