Legislative District 14 Update:
On Wednesday, I joined with the Legislature’s Majority Caucus, numerous veteran groups, and County Executive Blakeman to announce the creation of a program using American Rescue and Recovery Act (ARPA) funds to provide grants of up to $10,000 for every eligible veteran hall in Nassau County. During the height of the pandemic, many VFWs and American Legions were facing major difficulties paying rent, property taxes and maintenance on their venues. Many veteran halls were forced to cancel catered events and other functions due to the lockdowns, and that took away necessary income these halls need to survive. At that time, Veterans groups were not eligible for ARPA funds under guidance issued by the federal government. After advocating for making veterans organizations eligible for federal assistance, we recently received news from the Treasury Department that these types of facilities are now being included. The new rule takes effect today, April 1, 2022. With all that our veterans have done and are continuing to do for our nation and communities there should never have been a question of eligibility. I am pleased to know that our efforts proved successful, and that this program will help these veteran groups as part of their ongoing recovery from the pandemic.
Earlier this month, the Majority Caucus of the Nassau County Legislature and the Town of Oyster Bay initiated a collection drive for the people of the Ukraine and opened drop-off locations at various County and Town facilities. Residents were able to drop off much-needed supplies including medical items, and personal hygiene products to help the crisis abroad. Yesterday, Nassau County Legislators and Town of Oyster Bay officials joined together to load the last boxes filled with donations to be shipped overseas. Overall, more than 45,000 pounds will be transported to the Port of New Jersey where arrangements have been made to ship the containers to Poland and ultimately distributed to Ukrainian refugees. To date, this is the largest collection of supplies on Long Island for the refugees. My thanks to all of our very generous residents who participated in this act of humanitarian aid to assist those in need.
Lastly, the New York State Legislature is considering legislation that would give the State control of Nassau University Medical Center, and ultimately lead to partial or complete closure of the facility. NUMC is the only County-owned hospital in Nassau County, and has the only state-of-the-art burn center for miles, as well as one of the best trauma centers on Long Island. The hospital serves not just Nassau residents in the East Meadow area, but also many who are under-insured, as well as students from the local colleges, and many members of the nearby minority communities. This entire process is a political move by Albany that will hurt Nassau County. On Monday, I joined my colleagues in the Legislative Majority along with doctors, nurses, EMTs, first responders, community leaders, police, fire fighters and other government officials to call on the state to abandon its quest to take over Nassau’s only public hospital. NUMC should be run by Nassau County residents, for Nassau County residents. It should not be a pawn in a political tug of war, and I will continue to fight to ensure that the NUMC remains under the control of Nassau County rather than by bureaucrats in Albany.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any thoughts and ideas you may have with respect to the County or on any particular issue that you think I may be able to assist you with. You may contact me at (516) 571-6214 or by email at LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov .
Laura M. SchaeferLegislator, District 14