By The New York State Association of Counties
The New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) and the New York State County Executive’s Association (NYS CEA) on Monday announced they are joining with dozens of national and statewide organizations representing states, counties and cities to call on the U.S. Senate to act immediately to support a federal coronavirus relief package that provides funding to state and local governments.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated our economies and, without federal funding for states and local governments, that impact will go on for months and years,” said Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, president of the New York State County Executive’s Association and NYSAC. “Between our employees, our contracts, and the purchases we make, counties, states and local governments have a tremendous impact on the national economy. We need federal funding to keep these parts of our economy moving.”
According to the sign-on letter sent by the group to Senate Leaders, state and local governments employ “nearly 15 million Americans … and also purchase goods and services which add to the nation’s output,” accounting for 11% of the nation’s GDP in 2019.
“Counties are facing fiscal pressures worse than what we experienced in the great recession,” said NYSAC President John F. Marren, chair of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors. “The best way to help our economy right now and in the near future is to inject federal funds that will protect the jobs and services that we provide at the county and local government levels.”
The letter, which is being transmitted today to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, says furloughs and job cuts are on the table for many states and localities, particularly as many local governments face new fiscal years on July 1.
“Our budgets at that state and local governments have to be balanced and enacted on time. That means that our local leaders right now are closing substantial budget gaps. Now is the time for federal action on direct and flexible funding for states and local governments, before painful cuts to jobs and services have to be made,” NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario said.