Republican Suffolk County legislators Robert Trotta and Anthony Piccirillo have formed an alliance to push for more fiscally conservative policies.
Trotta, of Fort Salonga, and Piccirillo, a freshman from Holtsville, said they will consider whether to vote together on measures in an effort to limit county spending, which they characterized as “out of control.”.
Trotta originally called the alliance a “splinter group” of the minority Republican legislative caucus. Trotta said he planned to name it the “Independent Fiscally Conservative Caucus,” and also invited Democrats to join.
Piccirillo said subsequently that the alliance has “no formality,” and that he and Trotta likely will take the same positions as other Republicans.
Trotta and Piccirillo said they will continue to attend GOP caucus meetings, where party lawmakers decide what legislation to support as a bloc.
County Republican leaders expressed confusion about the new alliance, particularly since Trotta and Piccirillo had caucused with GOP legislators before the March 3 county legislature meeting.
“They’re not using the word right,” Suffolk GOP chairman Jesse Garcia said of Trotta's and Piccirillo's initial descriptions of their alliance as a caucus. Garcia said GOP caucus meetings are filled with “different viewpoints and different attempts to put forward a taxpayer-friendly agenda.”
Minority Leader Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore) said other legislators often vote similarly on issues without creating formal alliances and that the GOP caucus has no “edict” about how members must vote.
“Caucus members are free to vote how they want to vote on any issue that comes before us,” Cilmi said.