New York City should have "limited" authorization for a loan to bolster its coffers as the pandemic has ripped through the ciity's finances, but Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins also urged patience in developing a plan.
The top Democrat in the state Senate over the weekend in a statement backed the concept of granting loan approval for New York City, a key step for Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration.
"The Senate will work with our partners in Government including the Mayor, the City Comptroller, the City Council, the Assembly, and the Governor to help New York City," she said in a statement. 'We are open to approving limited loan authorization but more work needs to be done to develop a consensus around a sound approach.”
De Blasio will have more work to do in Albany, no less with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has publicly been skeptical of a borrowing plan to cover municipal expenses, pointing to the experiences of the 1960s and 1970s in New York City and its near bankruptcy.
But Stewart-Cousins also sounded a note of caution in moving forward as well as another federal relief package could be in the works to aid local governments.
“New York City is the economic engine for our nation and our state, and so it is a priority for the Senate that it remains economically strong and viable," Stewart-Cousins said.
"Prudence requires the development of a plan not rushed through before action is actually necessary, especially when the possibility of additional federal aid remains unresolved. Mayor de Blasio has made it clear we have several months before drastic measures like layoffs would occur and other city leaders have sent mixed signals about the wisdom and efficacy of the current request."
New York City remains the economy that fuels the rest of the state, but the coronavirus pandemic has created an economic crisis after several months of greatly reduced business activity and consumer spending.
New York City is in the second phase of the reopening, lagging behind most of the rest of the state after the metropolitan region was hit especially hard by the pandemic.
Local governments across New York have seen their tax revenue disappear in the last several months and municipalities as well as school districts have started the process of laying off workers -- jobs that were once seemingly immune from a recession.