The Suffolk Legislature approved an emergency resolution last week that postpones to New Year's the date for newly hired county patronage appointees to begin paying a 15 percent share of health insurance costs.

Backers said the earlier Nov. 1 effective date for civil service exempt appointees differed from the Jan. 1 date in the agreement with county unions. Comptroller Joseph Sawicki's office said as of last week, only three appointees will benefit. They are: Joseph Hagelmann, former Islip Democratic chairman, and Patricia Montanino, an Islip Republican, who started as assistant elections clerks at the Suffolk Board of Elections making $43,926; and Jason Correa, a $41,000-a-year GOP legislative aide. County Executive Steve Bellone has begun voluntarily paying a share of his health premium.-- Rick Brand