Curran Fights for Full Transparency For 2019 Budget Process
Legislature increases spending by millions without public notice or disclosure and improperly changes sales tax estimate
MINEOLA, NY- Nassau County Executive Laura Curran today announced that her Administration’s legal team has served a notice of legal action on the Nassau County Legislature for its failure to publicly disclose its proposed spending increases to the County’s Executive’s 2019 budget and for improperly changing her administration’s sales tax revenue estimate.
“The Legislature passed a budget without public notice of legislative spending increases as required under the County charter,” said Curran. “When advised, on the record, by the County Attorney that the Legislature did not meet the basic requirements of transparency, the Presiding Officer said, ‘Sue us.’ That is the opposite of transparency.”
Curran noted further, “The Legislature also changed the sales tax estimate, although they are not allowed to change revenues.”
On Monday, October 29, 2018, the Nassau County Legislature approved an amended 2019 budget after receiving the County Executive’s proposed budget on September 17, 2018. However, the Legislature adopted the amended budget without properly disclosing to the public, five days in advance, its itemized spending increases.
“If this is how the Mangano Administration and the GOP-majority Legislature approved their budgets, then I can unequivocally say that is not the standard I will use,” said Curran. “We want full public disclosure and transparency. The public and the press are entitled to advance information on the actions contemplated by the Legislature when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars. The public doesn’t deserve an undisclosed, last-minute ‘emergency’ action on the annual 2019 budget. We inherited a NIFA control period and must carefully securitize the spending of taxpayer money.”
The legal action seeks to stay the Legislature’s approvals of the 2019 budget and tax levy.
The County is also seeking an order directing the Legislature to adopt a legally valid 2019 budget with full public disclosure. Historically, the County Charter was written to ensure full transparency before Election Day.