Abrahams approves sales tax revenues for local villages

Also approved funding for health disparity programs

Nassau County Legislator Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead) recently approved a resolution to disperse more than $1.2 million from Nassau County sales tax revenue to the County’s 64 incorporated villages. The Village of Freeport will receive $121,754 and the Village of Hempstead, $157,268.

“I am delighted that we can continue to offer our fiscal support and cooperation at a time when the villages really need it,” Abrahams said.

In other business, legislators heard testimony from the police department and business owners on an amendment to a proposed local law in relation to alarm permits and fines for false alarm transmissions from Automatic Alarm Systems. The proposed law will now go onto the full legislature for a vote on May 21.

The legislature also approved a local law prohibiting the feeding of migratory waterfowl on county property. During the first year, it will be unlawful to feed the birds. However, during that first year, violators will only receive warnings, not appearance tickets. Then, from the second year on, violators will get appearance tickets and fines for feeding the birds. The law goes into effect immediately.

•Legislators also approved the appointment of John Peguillan to the Assessment Review Commission. The appointment is for the remainder of a term ending June 29, 2008, to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of James R. MacCrate.

•The Legislature’s Health and Social Services Committee approved a law that would force employees of tattoo and body piercing shops to provide a written form explaining the possible health risks inherent to body piercing and to obtain signed consent forms from customers of any age.

“This law would explain to customers just how risky body piercing can be,” Legislator Abrahams said. “Everything from cracked teeth from a pierced tongue to infections from pierced noses and eyebrows has been reported. We want everyone to know what they’re getting into before they get into it.”

The law will now face a hearing before the full legislature, and then move onto a vote before lawmakers.

•Lawmakers in the health committee also approved a law that will require all sign-hangers to be licensed by the Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs in an effort to increase public safety and lower the possibility of personal injury or property damage.

“By requiring sign hangers to be licensed, we lower the risks of what can often be a dangerous job for both pedestrians and the sign hangers themselves,” Abrahams said. “Obtaining a license means that a sign hanger has demonstrated the ability to safely and securely hang a sign, and qualified workers make responsible workers.”

•The Legislature’s Public Safety Committee approved a proposal to state lawmakers to put red light cameras at county traffic intersections. According to the County Executive, red light cameras will reduce accidents resulting from vehicles running red lights. From 2000 through 2005, more than 46,000 crashes occurred at Nassau intersections with a traffic control device. The cameras are activated by a sensor when the car enters the intersection after the light has turned red. This proposal will now go before the full legislature for a hearing and then on for a vote.

Legislators also approved supplemental appropriations for several grant programs within in the health department that address HEALTH DISPARITIES. They include:

?A $217,380 supplemental appropriation for the Community Health Worker Program Grant-The purpose of this grant is to address the disparities in access to health care in targeted communities.  This grant offers assistance in seeking and receiving primary and preventive health care to low-income families in the Village of Hempstead.  No county match is required.

?A $210,000 supplemental appropriation for the Perinatal Services Network Program-The purpose of this grant is to promote access to quality health care services to pregnant women and infants in the communities with the highest risk for poor birth outcomes with the goal of reducing disparities in infant mortality rates.  No county match is required.

?A $105,000 supplemental appropriation for the Public Health Campaign Program-The purpose of this grant is to provide action that reduces the STD Chlamydia, through surveillance, verification of treatment and contact investigations.  No county match is required.