NIFA calls for cuts amid looming $100M deficit

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MINEOLA -

The Nassau Interim Finance Authority, which oversees the county's finances, projects a deficit approaching $100 million by the year's end.

Earlier this week, NIFA's executive director sent an email to the county, calling on department heads to submit individual plans to reduce annual spending by 7 percent. Legislative Democrats welcome the move.

"Money that goes to the well-connected and law firms throughout this county, that's where we should be looking to cut," says Legislator Kevan Abrahams. "That could save us $15, $20 million right off the top." 

The Mangano administration argues that it's done its part to tighten the county's purse strings, and says following NIFA's directive will result in the elimination of important services and massive layoffs.  

Deputy County Executive for Finance Brian Naughton responded to NIFA with a letter that said in part, "We need our departments focused on managing their operations, not on an exercise in futility."

Labor leaders say they are concerned about what NIFA's directive may mean for the county work force. 

"Quite frankly, right now we can't get the job done. We're down almost 20 percent in each department," says CSEA President Jerry Laricchiuta. 

NIFA says it is requesting plans to cut spending now so that lawmakers can then consider them long before County Executive Mangano formally submits his budget proposal on Sept. 15.

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