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Laura Curran’s home-rule shift

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran refused to sign

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran refused to sign two home rule messages that support state bills to benefit fire marshals and ambulance medical technicians. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Democratic Nassau County Executive Laura Curran refused to sign two home rule messages last week, unanimously approved by the county legislature, that support state bills to give retirement disability benefits to fire marshals and ambulance medical technicians.

Though nobody can remember a county executive in the past refusing to sign unanimously approved home rule messages, County Attorney Jared Kaschau said Curran didn’t need to sign because at least two-thirds of the legislature voted in favor. Curran spokesman Michael Martino said Curran didn’t sign the messages because the administration needed to do more research on the legislation.

However, records show that Curran, as a Baldwin county legislator, last year voted in favor of home rule messages supporting bills identical to those passed last week. Why the change?

“A lot can happen in one year,” Martino responded. “The nuances of the bill could have changed. The legislature voted en masse and in confidence. They do not need a symbolic signing on top of their unanimous decision.”

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo vetoed those bills last year. Curran has three bills related to property assessment in Albany she is hoping Cuomo will support. Martino said Cuomo’s vetoes last year had no impact on Curran’s refusal to sign the measures this year.

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