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Source: News 12 Long Island

LI coalition asks for larger share of state budget

Posted: March 5, 2015
Originally Published: March 3, 2015

ALBANY - Dozens of Long Island residents representing various civic groups were in Albany Tuesday to lobby lawmakers for a number of causes four weeks before the state budget deadline.

The Long Island Lobby Coalition, which includes dozens of groups from Nassau and Suffolk, spent the day meeting with the state Senate, Assembly and Gov. Cuomo’s top staff in an effort to gain Long Island a larger share of the state’s funding.

Adrienne Esposito, of Citizens Campaign for the Environment, says that an ocean outfall pipe for the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant is “a necessity not a luxury.” She also said Huntington Station and the Mastic/Shirley peninsula are in need of sewers.

Another pitch heard by Long Island’s lawmakers was from Merrick store owner Julie Marchesella. She urged lawmakers to crack down on Web retailers who compete unfairly by not paying sales tax.

The coalition also wants the governor to give Long Island a larger share of the $5 billion pool of money for infrastructure projects.

“Long Island is slated to get 3 percent of that, but we're 14 percent of the state's population,” said Eric Alexander, of Vision Long Island.

State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R – Rockville Centre) says one of his top priorities is getting a much bigger share of money for infrastructure projects across Nassau and Suffolk.

“It's not just going to be for repairs…This has to be geared toward creating jobs and making Long Island more attractive for businesses to come here.”