Bellone outlines fiscal recovery plan in State of the County speech

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone outlined a recovery plan in his first State of the County address last night.The details are highlighted by some dramatic

WOODBURY - Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone outlined a recovery plan in his first State of the County address last night.

The details are highlighted by some dramatic steps the county executive is taking himself to try to fix the crisis. Bellone laid out the plan quick, wasting no time talking to his residents about the massive fiscal crisis his county is in right now. Bellone said, "The 2012 budget is more than $140 million out of balance and the gap for 2013 grows to more than $300 million."

Although the numbers are daunting, Bellone says he does have a plan on how to pick Suffolk up and out of the hole.

Bellone announced that he and his executive staff will freeze their salaries and start contributing up to 25 percent of their health care. The county executive also said exceeding the tax cap to get the county back on track is not something he's willing to do.

The budget saving plan does include 450 layoffs, which were first introduced by former County Executive Steve Levy. The county executive also said he cut 30 percent of his executive staff and 21,000 off of his salary, on top of that pay freeze. The measures are not going to solve the financial crisis, but Bellone was clear in saying that he will lead by example.Bellone lays out dire fiscal woes in State of the County speechSuffolk 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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