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Propositions to extend legislator terms, stabilize county budget on ballot this year

Whether voting by mail, early or in person this year, remember to flip over your ballot. There are two propositions for voters on the North Fork to consider this year.

The first would increase the term length for Suffolk County legislators from two to four years. If approved, the four-year term length would take effect starting with legislators sworn in Jan. 1, 2022, and the existing 12-year term limit would remain in place.

The second proposition asks voters to authorize transferring excess funds from the county’s sewer assessment stabilization reserve to the taxpayer trust fund. It was proposed by County Executive Steve Bellone as a way to stabilize the county budget and avoid layoffs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Specifically, the proposition would enable $15 million to be moved from the sewer fund to the general fund and also cancel the court-ordered repayment of $29.4 million previously borrowed from the fund.

Approval of the proposition would also repeal a section of the law that requires further annual repayment from the general fund to the sewer assessment stabilization reserve fund. Approximately $154 million is still owed to that fund, according to the proposition.