Statement From NYSAC President Jack Marren and NYSCEA President Marcus Molinaro on the Failure of Federal Stimulus Negotiations
Congress's failure to reach a compromise on pandemic relief aid to states and local governments not only fails New Yorkers now, but it fails generations to come.
Congress's failure to reach a compromise on pandemic relief aid to states and local governments not only fails New Yorkers now, but it fails generations to come. They have failed our neighbors who need help, and taxpayers who are trying to make ends meet. They have failed the local health workers who have labored around the clock for nearly 9 months to protect their communities from this terrible pandemic, and they have failed the thousands of county workers who have lost their jobs or may lose their jobs when counties make devastating program and staff cuts.
Congress's failure has placed local governments in the direct line of fire from an economic triple treat: losses in sales tax revenue to the tune of $2 billion; cuts in state reimbursement which total more than $600 million and will grow as the state closes its $14 billion budget deficit; increases in the demand for social services like home heating, food stamps and meals on wheels.
We appreciate the work of New York State's Congressional Delegation. They fought tirelessly to provide funding for the state and local governments, but their colleagues from across the nation did not support those efforts. In the midst of this national health emergency, our federal partners have left New Yorkers out in the cold.
This is no way to run a government. Pitting different levels of government against each other does not serve the people of this county, this state and our communities.
Without adequate federal assistance, the State will continue to cut funding to local governments, our taxpayers, and the people we serve. State Lawmakers will be returning to the State Capitol (virtually) to address some very difficult questions: Do you want the child who needs special education to be placed on a waiting list? Do you want your elderly neighbor or loved on to be deprived of meals? How about the nursing home that is caring for our older and disabled neighbors? What will happen if you can't place a call to 9-1-1? Who will respond to family members experiencing mental health crisis?
These are the critical services that are in jeopardy when the state cuts funding for counties. We are the level of government on the front lines of this public health, economic crisis, and social crisis.
The only way to reach the end of this pandemic successfully, to get our communities back to normal life and be prepared to respond to the next emergency, we all need to work together. We need our state and federal leaders to join with us, as partners in service to New Yorkers (and Americans), to ensure we have the resources we need to continue serving our communities.
Today, NYSCEA President Marcus Molinaro joined NYSAC Executive Director Stephen Acquario to discuss their reaction to congress' failure to provide direct aide to counties. Watch the video here.