Bellone lays out dire fiscal woes in State of the County speech

HAUPPAUGE - County Executive Steve Bellone (D-Suffolk) painted a picture tonight of a county deeply in the red as he gave his first State of the County address. His speech centered mainly on the county's dire fiscal crisis. He noted that this year's budget is more than $140 million out of balance and said the gap for 2013 will likely balloon to more than $300 million. However, the first-term executive did discuss some immediate steps he has taken to try and dig the county out of its hole. Bellone said he and members of his executive staff have agreed to freeze their salaries and begin contributing 15 to 25 percent of their health care costs. He pledged to not exceed the state's tax cap to get the county back in the black, but said deficit-closing measures would include hundreds of layoffs. Bellone also took time in his speech to thank the heroic firefighters and EMS workers who worked to battle the recent wildfires.Suffolk Executive Bellone's full State of the County addressGOP response to Bellone's State of the County addressNewsday's Rick Brand analyzes Suffolk State of the County

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