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Jay Jacobs, Nassau Dems' chief, says he helped broker county budget deal

A fight over County Executive Laura Curran's 2019 plan ended when Democratic lawmakers agreed to thwart a GOP override of her veto of revisions.

Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs on Nov. 6.

Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs on Nov. 6. Photo Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs, fresh from celebrating big State Senate victories, had a small role in securing a more parochial peace: a county budget deal.

A fracas over County Executive Laura Curran's 2019 budget ended in unexpected Democratic Party unity last week when Curran and party legislators trumpeted a "historic" budget accord.

Curran, a Democrat, said she found money to restore police precincts and other services that Democrats had wanted.

Democratic lawmakers agreed to thwart the Republican majority from overriding Curran's veto of a budget amendment that had been approved two weeks earlier by the entire county Legislature.

Curran had opposed the budget amendment for its "reckless" and "irresponsible" revisions. But she agreed last week to find the money for the bulk of the changes.

Jacobs said that during budget negotiations, the administration and legislative Democrats "reached out to discuss it with me, and both sides were anxious to pull this thing back to where it should be. I certainly encouraged everybody that we needed to come together."

Jacobs said he thought majority Republicans made the first deal on the budget with Democrats to present a unanimous, 19-0 vote, which would have highlighted Curran's "weakness."

"The Republicans quite frankly were using the Democrats," he said. "They saw that the Democrats wanted something.”

Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello (R-New Hyde Park) said, "It’s just too bad, because I think it works better when you get Democrats and Republicans to agree to change the county executive’s budget. That's just the way it's supposed to work."

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