Nassau committee approves plan to give $375 checks to residents, repeal county fees

Two proposals that had Nassau lawmakers at odds and would put money back in the pockets of residents were given the green light by the Legislature's Rules Committee.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran has been pushing for her plan to give $375 checks to middle-class residents. The money would come from Washington via the American Rescue Plan Act.
"This is about helping those who continue to struggle," says Curran. "It's as simple as that. It also helps boost our economy."
Curran says the Republican majority has been slow to move the plan forward, hoping it will just die. But Republican leaders say that's not the case.
Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello says, "We want to avoid residents having to send this money back to the county after they spent it already."
Nicolello says that's one reason he and members of the rules committee spent hours Monday questioning Deputy Planning Commissioner Sean Sallie about the plan.
"This is going to be a massive undertaking, it really is," says Nicolello. "I mean you're talking tens of thousands of people who are not going to be able to navigate this portal who are going to need manual assistance, I don't know that you're ready for this."
Republicans also questioned who would qualify for the check, whether the money would be taxable and if there are issues with the rollout, would the money have to be paid back.
"It's crucial, especially the way this was rolled out," says Nicolello. "The original plan had to be changed, they didn't have the right guidance on that, so we want to avoid having those mistakes made."
Another proposal on the table is the reduction or elimination of $100 million in fees paid by residents. The fees include removing the public safety fee on things like red light camera tickets, tax map verification and the recording fee for mortgages.
"The county must repeal these fees and put the money back into their pockets. This will help our residents and businesses during these difficult times," says Nicolello.
Both the cash payment plan and the repeal of fees must now go to a vote by the full Legislature, which meets Sept. 27.
Nicolello tells News 12 the measures could be approved at that meeting.