Governor Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to the state’s congressional delegation again on Wednesday, impressing upon them the urgent need in New York for federal relief.
“I want to be very clear about what this federal bill means to New York,” he told reporters. “The way we did the budget this year, the state budget, is that we basically had a big hole in terms of what the revenues will be. The revenues are what will be provided by the federal bill.”
What You Need To Know
- Governor Cuomo sent a letter today about federal stimulus to New York’s Congressional delegation
- He is calling on them to ensure that $500 billion in unrestricted state aid is included in the next relief package
- New York State has an estimated $30 billion budget hole over the next two years
- Cuomo says the next stimulus bill could be “the most impactful piece of federal legislation since I’ve been serving as governor”
- At the same time, he is urging New York's senators to vote “no” on the package if it doesn’t repeal the cap on state & local taxes
According to Cuomo, the next stimulus bill will be “the most determinative and impactful piece of federal legislation since I’ve been serving as governor.”
Cuomo said the state has a $14 billion budget hole in 2021 and a $16 billion budget gap in 2022, adding up to $30 billion over the next two years.
The bill being discussed in Washington is a two-year bill.
“To the extent we do not receive $30 billion over two years, we would have to cut 20% from our main funding entities, schools, local governments, hospitals,” the governor stated.
The Senate’s opening proposal says each state needs to fully fund education, even if the federal relief package doesn’t fully fund the state’s shortfall.
“If that is the situation,” said the governor, “it’s good news for schools. But that would mean the hospitals and the local governments take an even greater cut.”
The MTA and the Port Authority will also be affected if relief isn’t forthcoming.
Cuomo clearly expressed a preference for the House bill over the Senate’s.
“The House repeals SALT. Thank you very much, Nancy Pelosi,” Cuomo said, referencing the House speaker.
“In the House bill, called the HEROES ACT, they repeal SALT,” he stated. “That is of major import to the state of New York. SALT was a theft, as you know. It was $15 billion a year from New Yorkers. For those affected, it’s about $8,700 per household every year.”
Cuomo isn’t the only governor calling on Washington to take action on a relief package soon.
“The NGA [National Governors’ Association], which is a bipartisan organization, repeats the call today for $500 billion in state and local funding. Senator [Charles] Schumer has the ball for us on the Senate side,” he said. “Congresswoman Nita Lowey on the Appropriations Committee … is carrying the ball for us there.”
Whatever Congress passes will determine New York’s financial future.
“Whatever that bill says, that’s what that this year’s budget is,” said Cuomo.
In response to NY1 reporter Zack Fink’s question about the possibility of a tax increase on the billionaires, Cuomo doesn’t think it would help.
“You have 100 billionaires, you need $50 billion. Just some rough math. You have to tax every billionaire half a billion dollars more to make it up, right? You know what that means? You would have no billionaires,” Cuomo laughed and said. “So the numbers are too large for that.”
Tuesday, the state conducted 62,276 tests, of which 1.1% were positive. Five New Yorkers died from COVID; 76 people were intubated. There were 619 hospitalized, which is the lowest since March 18.
The State Liquor Authority handed out 29 violations to bars and restaurants Tuesday, all downstate.
The Cuomo administration has sent a team to St. Petersburg, Fla., to assist with setting up a testing facility. New York has also sent that city PPE.
Rick Kriseman, the first-term Democrat mayor of St. Petersburg, thanked the governor for his leadership. Cuomo responded by saying, “Anything you need, we are here.”