Suffolk Executive Steve Levy's plans for a $250,000 swine flu publicity campaign was cut to $100,000 after Presiding Officer William Lindsay questioned the expense.

A proposed contract for public-relations firm Sanna Mattson McLeod Inc. of Smithtown surfaced before a new joint legislative-executive committee that screens requested waivers from the request-for-proposal process.

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Lindsay abstained from voting, saying the money "could really do a lot more good" if used to hire health personnel or for more clinics when vaccine supplies become available. Edward Dumas, a top Levy aide, defended the need but directed health officials "to develop a new streamlined" campaign, with $150,000 "redirected to fund additional vaccinators."

- Rick Brand