Denenberg & lawmakers hear debate on social host law, back-over accident legislation
Nassau County Legislator Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick) joined his fellow legislators on June 18 in hearing testimony during a public hearing on the proposed Social Host Law. The proposed law would make it possible for party hosts to be prosecuted if alcohol is consumed by underage guests.
According to national statistics, almost 50% of teens report having attended parties where drinking occurred and parents were present.In local surveys, 70% of high school seniors report drinking at parties in homes. The bill says that it is illegal for anyone over the age of 21 who owns, rents or otherwise controls a private residence and who is present and aware of the consumption of alcohol by any minor at any party, gathering or event on such premises, to permit drinking.
"This is about the safety of our children and holding responsible those that endanger young lives,” Denenberg said. “The testimony heard today will go a long way in helping the legislature reach a decision on this important issue.”
The Social Host Law goes for a full vote at the July 9 meeting. Also going before a full vote at the next meeting is the proposed Alec’s Law, a law mandating that all car dealerships distribute safety information pertaining to preventing “back-over” accidents that can occur due to poor visibility in vehicles. The law also calls for the establishment of a County Web site promoting child safety and accident prevention.
In other business, the proposed budget for Nassau Community College for the 2007-08 fiscal year passed through committee and will be voted on July 9 as well. The proposed operating budget is for $190,312,552, an increase of $10,539,406 (5.86%) over the 2007 adopted budget. The increase will cost Nassau taxpayers an additional $4.30 per year and raise tuition for the average full time student $166.
Along with the extension of the Nassau County Interim Finance Authority through 2008, County sales tax was also extended, along with surcharges on tickets at events at the Nassau Coliseum and Jones Beach, among other venues. Surcharges were also extended on motel/hotel rooms and traffic tickets issued by the County. These surcharges bring approximately $10 million into the county’s coffers.
Legislators also approved supplemental appropriations for several grant programs within the health and police departments. They include:
- A $50,000 supplemental appropriation for the Preventative Dental Services Program Grant. The purpose of this grant is to improve the overall oral health of Nassau County residents through population-based initiatives as well as targeted efforts aimed at children in low-income communities.
- A $12,608 supplemental appropriation for the Early Intervention Administration Program Grant. The purpose of this grant is to provide services to ensure that eligible infants and toddlers will developmental delays and disabilities (and their families) receive appropriate services.
- A $100,000 supplemental appropriation for the Nassau County Police Department’s LETPP E.D.R.O. Program Grant. This program is sponsored by the NYS Weapons of Mass Destruction Task Force and is designed to provide law enforcement agencies with resources to purchase and/or supplement their capabilities in detecting, disrupting, and preventing acts of terrorism.Funding will be used to purchase equipment to enhance current operations of the NCPD’s Arson/Bomb squad in responding, preventing, and recovering from terrorist attack.
The next legislative session will be on July 9 at 2 p.m.