Bellone touches on finances, 311 system, opioid fight in State of the County address

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone delivered his eighth State of the County address Wednesday night from the Van Nostrand Theatre on the Brentwood campus of Suffolk Community College.

News 12 Staff

Apr 18, 2019, 2:18 AM

Updated 1,869 days ago

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Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone delivered his eighth State of the County address Wednesday night from the Van Nostrand Theatre on the Brentwood campus of Suffolk Community College, touching on topics that include finances, a 311 system and the fight against drugs.
Bellone was proud of how far the county's financial situation has come in the last several years, saying, "While we are not out of the woods yet, that slow and steady march to fiscal recovery continues."
The executive used the annual address to announce the creation of the Suffolk 311 system, which he says will capture insight into community issues in real time and change how decisions are made using data collected through it. Suffolk 311 is the first suburban countywide system of its kind in the state. It's supposed to go live in 30 days and relieve pressure on emergency call centers.
Watch the entire 2019 Suffolk State of the County address:
Bellone says investments in prevention and drug treatment have helped in the fight against the opioid epidemic, noting the number of addiction-related deaths dropped for the first time in years. The county's crime is at a historic low, and Bellone says the MS-13 gang is on the run.
There was a touching moment as Bellone recognized Kelsey Cuevas, the daughter of anti-gang crusader Evelyn Rodriguez, who fought for the children in her community. She died in September.
Also in the address, Bellone reiterated his support for a new measure called the SALT Cap Response Plan, which is aimed at providing tax relief for homeowners. Bellone says if the IRS blocks the measure, the county will take the agency to court.
Q&A with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone:
The Republican response to the address was delivered by Suffolk Legislature Minority Leader Tom Cilmi. He says Bellone and the Democratic majority have actually raised taxes, and he slammed the Bellone administration's handling of county finances. Cilmi also called on lawmakers to restore integrity following the arrest and convictions of county officials.
Republican rebuttal to 2019 Suffolk State of the County address:


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