This past Monday, a law introduced by the Nassau County Legislative Majority to prohibit the smoking or vaping of cannabis at all county-owned facilities was unanimously passed by legislative committees. The resolution will now go before the full legislature for a vote on April 26th and, if passed, will take effect immediately.
Currently the smoking of tobacco is prohibited at county-owned properties. However, the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, which was recently passed by the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Cuomo, legalizes the recreational use and sale of cannabis products for individuals 21 and over wherever smoking is allowed under the Clean Air Act.
Our legislation, which I fully support, will help clear up any confusion by the public and reinforce that smoking, whether it be tobacco or cannabis products, will not be permitted at county properties. Not only will this help to keep the air cleaner while we are enjoying our beaches and parks but it also helps to protect our children from being exposed to this type of behavior.
The proposed legislation covers all county-owned properties including, but not limited to, buildings, sidewalks, parking lots, parks, preserves, playground, campgrounds and beaches. Violations are punishable by a fine of $200 per incident.
Also this past Monday, the Legislature held a vote to override the County Executive’s veto of a bill passed by the Legislative Majority to make the county assessor an elected position rather than a politically appointed one. Unfortunately, the override failed as every member of the Minority caucus voted against it.
The local law would have created a referendum to give residents the option to choose whether the job of assessor should be an elected position or political appointment. This is the second time in three years this bill has been voted down, which means the public will not have the chance to make that choice. The reassessment process has been plagued with errors, created confusion for taxpayers due to a lack of transparency and has ultimately resulted in significant tax increases for 65% of Nassau’s homeowners. An elected assessor would give the taxpaying resident the opportunity to vote for or against the individual who, if elected, would be handling the property tax assessment process. Unfortunately, without a referendum on the ballot this year, we will not have the chance to even see if residents want that option.
Regardless, I will continue to fight for the residents of Nassau County and work to make the County Executive’s reassessment more fair, accurate, and transparent.
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