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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Levy: OK to freeze state pay, keep job-linked tax breaks

Some catch-up on the Levy-for-governor front:

Overshadowed by news of the Times Square bomber, Suffolk Executive Steve Levy on Tuesday talked more fiscal substance at a news teleconference in which he called for lawmakers to keep the Empire zone tax break program for qualified businesses, saying the move by Canon to set up headquarters in Suffolk wouldn’t have occurred without it. That said, he called for reforms that would ensure that recipients of tax breaks come through on employment goals.

Levy also underscored that he was right about the legaility of imposing a freeze on state workers’ salaries based on a legal opinion solicited by one think tank from a prominent law firm. He’s shoring up his position on “fiscal emergency,” which he depicted as a state of mind and mandate that needs to be invoked. “When I was saying it was necessary to declare a fiscal emergency, I knew exactly what I was talking about,” Levy said. The legal opinion cites precedents that would support suspending part of the Taylor Law allowing for automatic step salary increases even after a contract has expired. “You need legislative involvement but look what Chris Christie is doing in New Jersey…This state is about to go bankrupt. If they don’t do it this year I’ll do it next year when I become governor.”


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