Maloney, Latimer, Neuhaus, Odell and Molinaro: The Senate’s Coronavirus Relief Proposal is a No-Go for the Hudson Valley
Late Monday afternoon, the Senate released its long-delayed coronavirus relief proposal framework, which – as proposed – does not include critically-needed funding for state and local governments.
U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, and Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro released the following statements:
“We made it clear all the way back in May: this virus didn’t hit only red or blue counties – it’s impacted all of us. Without funding for state and local governments, our County Executives and local leadership are being forced to cut vital services and jobs when we need them most,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18). “This proposal abandons state and local workers, including the teachers, first responders and healthcare workers we have depended on during this crisis. It is a failure of leadership and a no-go for the Hudson Valley.”
“We owe our Westchester federal partners a debt of gratitude for the first round of aid our County received as we continue to work jointly to combat this global pandemic. But sadly, as this crisis goes on our serious need only grows deeper. When the Senate bill chooses to starve local governments of needed revenue they are actively choosing to cut funding from police, firefighters, nurses and other dedicated public servants who are on the frontlines of the Covid-19 pandemic. Westchester is also working closely with schools and other groups so we can provide contact tracing – a necessary tool to combat the spread. These efforts will be hampered without assistance from our federal partners. I am proud to join with my fellow County Executives to express our displeasure with this Senate bill and look forward to working with Congressman Maloney and our entire federal delegation to find a more tenable solution that recognizes the needs of local communities,” said George Latimer, County Executive of Westchester County.
“Orange County taxpayers spent millions of dollars on PPE at critical times for nursing homes, hospitals and first responders. It would be appropriate for the Federal government to assist local taxpayers in recouping these costs which were necessary to save lives,” said Steven M. Neuhaus, County Executive of Orange County.
“I stand with County Officials both locally and nationally advocating the need for flexible aid to Counties. Counties are on the front lines in combatting this pandemic, and we need the aid to continue to provide essential health and safety services to the people that we serve,” said MaryEllen Odell, County Executive of Putnam County.
“The federal government cannot abandon it’s local partners in this time of need. We are, and have been on the frontline of this health crisis for months. County governments are the ones administering services through local health departments, assisting hospitals, nursing homes and schools, and providing guidance and support to thousands of local businesses, including desperately needed PPE. And this pandemic is nowhere near over; we’re seeing massive spikes in the number of cases throughout the country and the responsibility of actually managing these new cases falls onto us as the local level – rural, suburban and urban counties Across America. We have one job: keep our residents healthy and rebuild our communities. We need the US Senate to do its job,” said Marcus Molinaro, County Executive of Dutchess County.
On May 15, 2020, the House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act, a coronavirus relief package that dedicated $1 trillion to supporting state and local governments, in addition to supporting hospitals and schools and expanding testing and tracing. The Heroes Act provides New York state and local communities on the frontlines of this crisis with critically-needed funding to cover revenue losses caused by the coronavirus. This funding will bolster state and municipal budgets, and ensure New York’s health care workers, police, fire, transportation, EMS, teachers and other vital workers can continue to be paid.
The Heroes Act will provide an estimated $34 billion in new funds for New York State, and an estimated $32 billion in new funds for New York’s counties and municipalities over two years, including an estimated:
- $544 million for Westchester County
- $216 million for Orange County
- $165 million for Dutchess County
- $55 million for Putnam County
Additionally, towns and cities would receive funds from the Heroes Act, including $62 million for Newburgh, $59 million for Poughkeepsie, and $35 million for Middletown.
In late May, Rep. Maloney and the County came together for a joint virtual press conference on the importance of passing the Heroes Act, and the state and local funding provisions included in the bill. The County Executives stressed the extreme budget constraints they faced in the near future, and warned without this funding they would be forced to cut services and jobs as a consequence of the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.