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Adam Barsky, NIFA chief, meets with Nassau lawmakers on budget

NIFA chairman Adam Barsky Met Monday, Nov. 13,

NIFA chairman Adam Barsky Met Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 with Nassau legislators about the 2018 budget. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The chairman of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority met privately Monday with members of the GOP-controlled county legislature, days after the financial control board rejected Nassau’s 2018 budget and told lawmakers to find more than $30 million in cuts or revenue hikes.

NIFA Chairman Adam Barsky met separately with the Republican and Democratic legislative caucuses for about 30 minutes before a meeting of the legislature’ Rules Committee.

“We made good progress,” Barsky said after the meetings. “We are all ready to do the right thing.”

It was the first time a NIFA chairman has ever met with all members of the county legislature during budget negotiations.

Lawmakers voted along party lines last month to remove a traffic ticket surcharge and real estate transactions from County Executive Edward Mangano’s $2.99 billion budget.

Mangano declined to sign or veto the budget. Without his signature, it moved to NIFA for consideration.

The NIFA board last week unanimously rejected the 2018 budget. The board said the $31.5 million in amendments approved by the GOP majority to replace the fee increases were based on overly optimistic assumptions or failed to generate recurring revenue or expense savings.

The control board gave lawmakers until Nov. 27 to find $31.5 million in recurring expense cuts or revenue increases.

Barsky has said if the Legislature does not take action, the board will “impose its own cuts to balance the budget.”

Lawmakers did not comment in detail about the meetings.

Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said “we look forward to continuing the constructive conversation we are having with NIFA and our Republican colleagues to put Nassau County on the right fiscal track.”

County Executive-elect Laura Curran, a Democratic legislator from Baldwin, called the meeting “constructive. I look forward to working together with NIFA to deliver real results for Nassau residents.”

Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) said the GOP would work with Democrats, Mangano and NIFA, “ to put forward a solid plan to answer NIFA’s request for adjustments.”

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