Governor pens letter to Congress, requests $59B

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gov. Cuomo and labor leaders sent a letter to Congress on Monday, formalizing a request for additional federal funding to offset state budget shortfalls.

Cuomo’s letter asks for $59 billion to address the catastrophic economic fallout of the pandemic.

According to the letter: “Even if state and local governments cut expenses, increase taxes, and reduced services, the revenue shortfall would still be in the billions of dollars. Moreover, forcing state and local governments to take such actions would only further the pain and extend the period of time for the nation’s economy to recover.” 

The governor provided a financial breakdown for the request:

  • New York State: $30 billion during the current and next fiscal year
  • MTA: $12 billion
  • New York City: $9 billion
  • Local governments outside of New York City: $4.5 billion
  • The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey: $3 billion

Still, there is no clear delineation from the Office of the Governor about how the major part of the funds—$30 billion—would be apportioned. Further, the Metro Transit Authority in New York City is a public benefit corporation that operates as a private company. It has been sorely in need of repairs since long before the outbreak began. Much of the requested funds would cover specific infrastructure projects at Penn Station, and Laguardia and JFK airports that employ thousands of workers in New York City.

The full letter is available below:

Dear Federal Representative:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic impact, New York State is in an impossible financial situation.

State and local governments are facing an approximate $59 billion shortfall this year and next. New York City, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey individually all face unmanageable shortfalls. Likewise, private sector businesses have seen lost revenue and tens of thousands of jobs lost.

There is no combination of state efforts that will address this financial crisis without federal assistance. Even if state and local governments cut expenses, increase taxes, and reduced services, the revenue shortfall would still be in the billions of dollars. Moreover, forcing state and local governments to take such actions would only further the pain and extend the period of time for the nation’s economy to recover. Virtually all economists agree that forcing state and local governments to lay off employees and reduce services will negatively impact the national recovery. We saw that with the last fiscal crisis in 2007-2009, and we know that it will play out again.

Much damage has been done by this federal administration – policies like the SALT tax “reform” that increased taxes on New Yorkers, and discriminatory policies that tout “savings” while further marginalizing vulnerable New Yorkers. The federal administration has already achieved many of its political priorities in prior legislation passed in response to COVID. We cannot allow another piece of legislation to pass without protecting New Yorkers.

New York State requires $30 billion in funding in the current fiscal year and next to avoid massive disruption. Likewise, New York City requires $9 billion, local governments outside of New York City require $4.5 billion, the MTA $12 billion and the Port Authority $3 billion. The Port Authority’s projects rebuilding LaGuardia and JFK Airports are currently employing thousands of private sector construction workers. The MTA’s $51 billion capital plan will be on hold, and East Side Access and a revitalized Penn Station will be lost, maybe forever. We must not lose these jobs and these projects – they are necessary to cementing New York’s economic future. Hospitals, schools and public employees have done heroic work during Covid and must now be protected, especially as we reopen schools and anticipate additional health challenges in the Fall.  The legislation must also repeal the damaging and offensive SALT tax “reform,” which cost the people of the State of New York as much as an additional $15 billion each year.

If we stand united, we cannot be defeated.  We must stand united at this time in history.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
George Gresham
Gary LaBarbera
John Samuelson
Michael Mulgrew
Andy Pollata
Henry Garrido
Wayne Spence
Mary Sullivan

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