New York Gov. Kathy Hochul did not include in her executive budget a $4 billion victims' compensation fund for the families of those who died of COVID-19 in nursing homes. 

According to a January 2021 report released by state Attorney General Letitia James, thousands of COVID-positive patients were sent to hundreds of nursing homes as a result of a Cuomo administration policy. 

The victims’ fund, which was modeled after the 9/11 compensation fund, was initially proposed last year by Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim. Kim was critical of the funding the governor provided in her executive budget to nursing homes. 

“There isn’t even a mention of the families and their needs,” he said.

Kim is looking to use some of the $16 billion in reserves for a new victims’ compensation fund that could appear in the enacted state budget. The governor has stated that she wants to use that surplus to shore up the state’s rainy day fund.

“I remain open and collaborative with the governor,” said Kim. “(But) there’s a lot we can do with that [money] like centering solutions around families and workers. It should be the new norm of how the state conducts itself moving forward.”

Kim also spoke with Capital Tonight about a lawsuit, currently pending, that will determine whether a new law which allows the families of nursing home residents to sue those homes is retroactive.