Gildred Ortiz, center and Julio Colon, right, receive help from outreach worker for Access Health CT, Cristela Solorio Ruiz during a grand opening for Connecticut's health insurance exchange's first insurance store, Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, in New Britain, Conn. The site, where people can visit to sign up for health coverage, is the first in the nation.
The Suffolk County legislature passed its 2014 budget Wednesday. The budget raises property taxes in the five western towns, puts more law enforcement on the streets, and borrows some $90 million dollars to cover pension costs. The spending plan brought intense last-minute criticism from environmental advocates who say it “pillages” $33 million intended for water quality protection
Democrat Thomas Spota ran unopposed to win a fourth term as Suffolk County District Attorney, while Republican Ed Mangano won a second term as Nassau County Executive.
Democrats have kept their majority in Suffolk's legislature, and supervisor positions in Southampton, Shelter Island, Huntington, and Babylon. Republican Supervisors held onto their seats in Brookhaven and Smithtown.
In Suffolk County, the proposition to legalize gambling received strong support while the effort to extend the retirement age for judges did not, mirroring statewide results.
Voters in New York approved a referendum on Tuesday to expand casino gambling in the state and rejected a referendum to allow judges to serve until age 80. Karen DeWitt reports that both are wins for Governor Andrew Cuomo.