The Suffolk County Legislature held committee meetings this week. A general meeting of the legislature will be held on Tuesday in Hauppauge. Here is a recap of a few items coming out of the committees. For marked agendas on the committee meetings, click here.
A bill sponsored by Legislator Kate Browning, WF-Shirley, which would require individuals to present photo identification when purchasing prepaid cell phones, is expected to be voted on Tuesday after making it out of the Public Safety Committee.
The legislature heard close to an hour of public comments on the bill at the last Suffolk County Legislature meeting on May 10. Supporters of the bill cited that prepaid cell phones are easily usable for individuals conducting illegal activities, while opponents stated that another group of individuals who often use the phones - immigrants - may be too afraid to offer up photo identification.
Three lag-payroll proposals for county employees, all introduced by Legislator Jon Cooper, D-Lloyd Harbor, failed to get out of committee at Monday's Budget and Finance Committee meeting. Two proposals, including one lag-payroll proposal for elected officials, were tabled until the committee's next meeting. Legislators Ed Romaine, R-Center Moriches, and Tom Muratore, R-Ronkonkoma, voted against tabling both measures. The lag payrolls were introduced by Cooper as to help close a projected $180 budget shortfall in the coming fiscal year.
Two efforts by South Fork Legislator Jay Schneiderman, I-Montauk, to close two homeless sex-offender trailers in Southampton within 15 days of the bills' signings were both tabled in the health and human services committee.
Nearly three months ago the legislature overrode County Executive Steve Levy's veto to sustain a measure which would call for a private contractor to operate a new plan for the roughly 25 to 30 homeless sex offenders in the county. However the trailers remain open, prompting Schneiderman's attempts to demand closing them.
The county's economic development, higher education and energy committee has suggested using part of the proceeds of an increased hotel/motel tax – approved roughly two years ago, and protested by many East Enders in the hospitality business at the time – to attempt lure filmmakers to Suffolk County.
Nearly $20,000 was unanimously approved by the committee to be spent on three separate grants of $6,000 a piece on films, of which 50 percent must be shot in Suffolk County.
The Suffolk County Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve a zone change for Huntington Station's AvalonBay plan, a project that would create nearly 400 residential units on a 26-acre parcel. The plan has created quite a stir in Huntington. Read Huntington Patch for more information.