Well if requiring all county employees to contribute 25 percent to their health insurance is out of touch then they are really living in 1999.
Nassau County Democrats came out swinging Thursday against County Executive Edward Mangano's proposed fiscal 2012 budget, calling it "out of touch with reality" and a threat to public safety if police precincts are closed.
At a news conference, members of the minority bloc castigated Mangano's $2.63 billion proposal submitted to the legislature last week. The county plans to close two police precincts, require all employees to contribute 25 percent to their health insurance and lay off 700 workers to close a projected $310 million budget gap next year.
Democrats argue that the plan relies too heavily on union givebacks that will likely never come to fruition and could lead to costly legal battles. "There isn't one realistic expectation in the budget," said Legis. Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury).
Legis. Kevan Abrahams (D-Hempstead) said the proposal included "too many what-ifs" and did not offer a Plan B if some of the proposed savings did not materialize.
Mangano spokesman Brian Nevin said the "criticism comes from the same partisan legislators who spent lavishly over the past decade while increasing property taxes and imposing a heating tax on all homeowners."
Abrahams said that he was not prepared to offer $300 million in substitute cuts but said Democrats had found millions in wasteful spending in the budget, including $5 million in outside fees to legal counsel. With only eight votes, Democrats cannot block Mangano's budget unless at least two Republicans vote against the plan, a scenario considered unlikely by both parties. A budget must be adopted no later than Oct. 30.