Nassau County lawmakers approved a $166-million capital improvement budget plan Friday that could renew jobs for thousands of workers in the county, officials said.

The plan, pushed and brokered by County Executive Edward Mangano, gained the unanimous approval of the legislature, which is dominated by his fellow Republicans 11-8. But Mangano needed Democratic support because it takes a supermajority vote of 13 members to bond projects.

"This plan creates jobs and opportunities today and improves Nassau County's services and public safety," Mangano said at a news conference in the same building half an hour after the legislative action.

Mangano spoke in the executive and legislative building to a room full of members of locals 66, 138, 1298 and others, including CSEA, police unions, and most of the legislature.

The county executive said Friday's action means "Nassau County will be a better and safer place to raise a family."

The capital plan includes a shift of about $30 million from some projects to others that Mangano has said - and apparently the legislature agreed - are a greater priority this year, such as the firefighters training facility in Bethpage.

Peter Schmitt, the legislature's presiding officer, said, "There's no Republican or Democratic way to fix roads and buildings."

Minority Leader Diane Yatauro of Glen Cove said both the Republican and Democratic caucuses worked hard on the capital budget.

Sources had said that Mangano wanted the legislature to support bonding for all of the $166 million, but Democrats wanted to hold back about $30 million in funding until later in the year to make sure projects in their districts did not languish.

Yatauro said Democrats later gained "a stronger comfort level with the plan" after the administration assured them the projects in their districts would be completed and that monthly updates would be given to them on those projects.

After the conference, Scott Adrian, a business agent for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 138, said that 30 percent of his 1,400 member have been out of work for months. "Now, we'll be able to get just about all of them back to work," he said.

With William Murphy

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