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Nassau budget law allows changes after Election Day

Nassau Legislative Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves and the

Nassau Legislative Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves and the Nassau Republican Caucus announce a bill that will prevent felons from seeking elected office on May 1 in Mineola. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Newsday’s Oct. 5 editorial on the Nassau County budget process is rife with factual errors and distortions [“Nassau legislators play bait-and-switch in fall”].

Yes, the law requires the legislature to pass a budget by Oct. 30. But Newsday should have been more diligent in researching the law. Had you read further, you would have discovered that the county executive then has 10 days to review legislative changes and sign the budget as amended, or exercise his line-item veto. The legislature is then granted another seven days to execute an override if it can muster the 13 required votes.

It is correct that we stripped all fees from the 2016 proposed budget and substituted other revenues. Those fees, as proposed, were unnecessary. However, you might recall that the Democrat-heavy board of the Nassau Interim Finance Authority, citing accounting rules that do not exist anywhere else in the state, threatened to cut funds for public safety, youth, seniors and buses, among other programs. Under this threat, which would have had a serious negative impact on the county, a portion of the proposed fees were restored to preserve these important programs.

We will pass a budget on Oct. 30. It will, like every budget we have passed, conform to all recognized generally accepting accounting principles and be a continuous improvement over the fiscal disaster the Democrats left us in 2009, which triggered NIFA’s takeover.

Norma Gonsalves, East Meadow

Editor’s note: The writer is presiding officer of the Nassau County Legislature.

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