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Nassau bill would create task force on disabilities

The Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building on

The Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building on Frankiln Avenue in Mineola on Jan. 19. Credit: Jeff Bachner

A new Nassau County task force would review policies affecting the disability community, under a bill filed on Tuesday.

A bipartisan task force would meet quarterly to discuss issues facing the disabled, including those living with physical, intellectual, learning and mental health disabilities, Republican lawmakers who introduced the bill said Tuesday.

The county could boost programming for the disabled or make buildings more accessible to them, legislators said. Members of the task force also could advise the county executive and county legislature on how to prioritize funding for the disabled.

Legis. C. William Gaylor III (R-Lynbrook) said during a news conference in Mineola, "Whether it is adding additional programs, or altering the infrastructure of Nassau County facilities, we want to let everyone know, no matter your disability, here you have a voice."

Legislator Steve Rhoads (R-Bellmore) said at the news conference the task force would have 15 members. Majority Republicans can appoint five members, while minority Democrats can appoint three. Another seven members will come from people who have a disability or from a group that supports the disabled.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran, a Democrat, said in a statement: "People with disabilities should always feel respected and welcomed in Nassau County. I look forward to reviewing the legislation and working with lawmakers to ensure our residents with disabilities have a seat at the table."

Legislative committees will take up the bill on Sept. 13 and the full legislature could approve it on Sept. 27.

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