Nassau Issues New Protest Protocols As County Faces Budget Deficit

Sophia Hall
July 01, 2020 - 3:36 pm

    MINEOLA, N,Y, (WCBS 880) — Nassau County Executive Laura Curran on Wednesday released new guidelines protesters must follow.

    There have been dozens of protests across Nassau County in the past few weeks and while all are considered peaceful, Curran wants to make sure all are kept safe on the roadways. 

    Citing the need to keep protesters and motorists safe, Curran said the new Roadway Protection Protocol will allow officials to better help demonstrators exercise their First Amendment right. 

    “We have a duty to protect the public's right to exercise their First Amendment rights safely and to protect motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists,” Curran said. “Protesters will be asked to identify their route before any march, protest or demonstration begins and they must stay on the route that's been identified.”

    March organizers will have to make the planned routes of their protests known with the Nassau County Police Department at least 24 hours beforehand.

    Curran says if the protesters do not follow the rules, law enforcement could get involved.

    Meanwhile, the county executive said Nassau is facing financial hardship because malls and other stores remain closed because of coronavirus. 

    She said the county is facing a deficit of $384 million for 2020 and the figure could be the same for 2021 if Nassau continues to see a drop in sales tax revenues 

    Curran hopes the federal government will help with the HEROES Act.

    If not, she says she plans to close a projected $750 million budget deficit caused by the virus over the next 18 months by asking the county's Financial Control Board to refinance $285 million.

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