Nassau County Legislator Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead) and members of the legislature approved a law at the March 19 session which will change how the county calculates leave pay for county employees who called to active military duty in the War on Terrorism. Currently, the reservist continues to collect his or her full county salary while mobilized; at the same time, he or she is earning a military salary, which includes food and housing allowances. The reservist is then obligated to reimburse the county whatever he or she has earned in military pay.
“We have adjusted this so that when soldiers come back they are not paying money for having gone to war for our country,” Abrahams said.
According to the Legislative Budget Review Office, 74 employees would be impacted by this legislation, with 58% coming from the Police Department.
The legislature also held a hearing to debate and discuss a proposed Code of Ethics, law that will bring sweeping changes to the County’s Ethics Code and slap violators with fines up to $10,000. The law, sponsored by Legislator Dave Mejias (D-North Massapequa), resolves inconsistencies in the present code and addresses areas of ethics such as the hiring of relatives, the acceptance of gifts, conflicts of interest, lobbying and the misuse of county funds and resources. The legislature will vote on the law at the April 11 meeting.
The legislature also approved the allocation of funds for the following projects:
$200,000 for Battle Row Campground in Bethpage to upgrade campground utilities and comfort station; and $85,000 for the brownfield remediation project in the Village of Westbury (completed) which involved the removal and abandoning of underground tanks and the eradication of contamination. The Village of Westbury contributed $843,000.
Lawmakers approved several supplemental appropriations to fund disaster planning and preparedness:
•$400,363.20 in fund for the Office of Emergency Management
•$3,723, $9,329, $1,115 & $57,239 for the Medial Examiner
•$108,614 to fund the CERT Executive Committee. This Committee oversees, administers, and engages in programmatic decision-making and support issues such as liability, advocacy and implementation of the CERT program.
•$205,983 & $17,353 for the Fire Commission.
•$231,049 & $448,194 for the Police Department to fund to local government to support planning, equipment, training and exercise needs associated with the preparedness and prevention activities for terrorist events.
The legislature also approved supplemental appropriations for the Health Department for the following programs:
•Lyme Disease Surveillance Program Grant for $25,500 to help minimize the incidence of Lyme disease in Nassau County
•Immunization Action Plan Program Grant for $235,736 to promote complete immunization by age 2 years for 90% of all children in the County.
•STD Screening in the Jail Program Grant for $75,525 to provide testing for inmates at the Correctional Center
•STD Disease Intervention Program Grant for $144,504 to provide surveillance, case management and disease intervention services to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted disease
•Senior Citizens Affairs, COLA for EISEP for 195,329 to provide case management, non-medical in-home services
•Drinking Water Enhancement Program Grant for $178,000 to protect and enhance the public water supply in Nassau County through evaluations of volatile organic chemical removal systems, cross-connection program, and additional bacteriological sampling
•Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Grant for $70,998 to reduce the prevalence of elevated blood lead levels in children less than six years of age.
The next session of the legislature will be on Wednesday, April 11 at 6 p.m.