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Suffolk lawmaker Horsley halts effort for nonprofit

Deputy Presiding Officer Wayne Horsley is a Suffolk

Deputy Presiding Officer Wayne Horsley is a Suffolk legislator from the 14th District. (July 13, 2011) Photo Credit: James A. Escher, 2011

A Suffolk lawmaker has halted his effort to restore county funding for a nonprofit offering cancer-screening support to uninsured residents.

Deputy Presiding Officer Wayne Horsley (D-Babylon) Tuesday withdrew a resolution that would have returned $113,210 in “patient navigation” funding that the county cut this year from the Eastern and Western Suffolk Cancer Services programs.

In proposing the resolution in January, he called the navigation service -- in which bilingual nurses assist patients after they’ve received abnormal cancer screening results -- an “absolute necessity,” and said six months of restored aid would give the groups time to find other funding for the rest of 2012.

But at the Budget and Finance Committee meeting Tuesday, Horsley acknowledged the recently revealed depth of Suffolk’s budget crisis changed his outlook. Officials have projected a $530 million deficit through 2013.

“I’m hopeful we can still set it right,” Horsley said. “It’s just unfortunate that there’s nothing available at this point.”

Lawmakers last year cut $16 million in aid to dozens of contract agencies, including the cancer services programs. Various resolutions had been introduced to restore some of the funding, but the announced deficit projections have put many of those efforts on hold.

Photo: Suffolk County Legislature Deputy Presiding Officer Wayne Horsley (D-Babylon)



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