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Counties recognize Schumer's leadership in pushing aid for local governments

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Mon, Jan 18th 2021 12:45 pm

Say new package will help New Yorkers through pandemic

The New York State Association of Counties recently recognized U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer and his partnership with President-elect Joe Biden on a new coronavirus stimulus package NYSAC said will “move the economy forward and help the states and local governments that have been on the front lines of this pandemic since last March.”

Biden announced his plans for a new coronavirus stimulus package that includes funding for states and local governments. The plan reflects proposals put forth by Schumer throughout the pandemic.

“New York’s local governments are incredibly fortunate to have such a fierce ally as our senior senator and incoming majority leader, ”said NYSAC President Jack Marren, chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors. “From the beginning of this pandemic, Sen. Schumer has fought to ensure states and county governments have what they need to battle this pandemic, and this proposal is a direct result of his dogged advocacy on our behalf.”

The Biden plan came after Schumer introduced the bipartisan Direct Support for Communities Act, which provides local governments with direct federal relief that can be used to pay for essential services, retain frontline workers, and offset lost revenues and increased costs from the COVID-19 emergency.

NYSAC said, “Since March of last year, counties across New York have seen their revenues plummet by an estimated $1.5 billion. Sales tax losses could reach $325 million for counties through 2021, state revenue cuts represent a $645 million loss, potentially increase to $965 million through 2021, and Native American gaming revenues and hotel occupancy taxes amount to almost $220 million in losses for counties through 2021.”

“Leading the response to this pandemic, and now the vaccine effort, is possibly the most important thing counties may ever do and it’s critical that we have the resources to do it effectively,” NYSCEA President and Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro said. “We don’t have a second to lose, congress must pass this bill and send it to President Biden during his first 100 days so we can end this pandemic, get our economy moving again, and get us all back to the cherished activities that fill our lives with meaning.”

“This bill provides the direct, flexible and unrestricted aid counties need to make up for the unprecedented revenue shortfalls brought on by the pandemic,”  NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario said. “Without this direct aid, counties will be hamstrung to do the essential work necessary to end the pandemic, including setting up COVID-19 vaccination sites, providing contact tracing and testing, and delivering essential services to children, families and seniors who have been struggling during the pandemic.”

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