HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. – Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer Rob Calarco has announced that legislative meetings held at the William H. Rogers Legislature Building in Hauppauge will reopen to in-person public attendance starting Tuesday, June 1, opening the door to in-person public comment at upcoming committee and general meetings.
“Now that we are turning a corner in this pandemic, we are thrilled to be able to welcome the public back into the Suffolk County Legislature’s Hauppauge building,” said Presiding Officer Calarco. “We have slowly and safely been bringing more and more legislators back to the horseshoe in our auditorium, and now, the public will be able to attend legislature committee and general meetings in person. Bit by bit, we are regaining semblances of normalcy thanks to more and more people getting vaccinated and declining numbers of new COVID-19 cases.”
In accordance with county and state safety protocols, members of the public who wish to attend a legislative meeting at the William H. Rogers Legislature Building will undergo temperature checks. Visitors who are vaccinated against COVID-19 and who are willing to provide proof of vaccination, if requested, will not be required to wear a mask while inside the building. Those who are not vaccinated or who do not wish to disclose their vaccination status will be required to wear a mask at all times while inside the building.
Inside the Rose Caracappa Auditorium, where the legislature’s June 1-4 committee meetings and the June 8 general meeting will be held, there will be designated seating areas for vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. In-person public testimony will be accepted during a committee or general meeting’s public portion and during public hearings scheduled for June 8.
In addition to now having the option to testify at legislative meetings in person, members of the public may continue to offer comment remotely over Zoom or by email, regular mail or voicemail. Those interested in addressing legislators over Zoom may sign up at www.scnylegislature.us/CommitteePublicPortion. Written testimony may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to the attention of the Clerk's Office at the Suffolk County Legislature, P.O. Box 6100, Hauppauge, NY 11788. Audio testimony will be accepted by voicemail at 631-853-3685; callers may leave a 3-minute message.
“Although we are excited to be allowing for in-person testimony again, we understand that at this time some people may prefer to continue offering comments remotely,” said Presiding Officer Calarco. “Public comment is a critical part of the legislative process, and we hope Suffolk County residents will continue to take advantage of these opportunities to engage with elected officials on issues that are important to them.”
Information on submitting public testimony in person or remotely, including safety protocols for attending a legislative meeting in person, is available on the legislature’s Providing Public Comment webpage.