Assemblyman Norris supports regional reopening plan for state economy

Posted 21 April 2020 at 12:54 pm


I understand that there is a real and collective anxiety and concern among Western New Yorkers and it continues to grow with each passing day. We all agree that public health and safety is paramount in the fight against this virus that we’re still trying understand, but the economic impact of this shut down is very frightening and troubling for so many of us here in WNY.

Due to the collective spirit, perseverance, and selfless cooperation of all New Yorkers, the pandemic has slowed, however our goal now must be to find the right balance between maximizing New York State’s economic output while minimizing our public health risk.

Today, I am joining Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay and encouraging Governor Cuomo to prepare a phased in “Regional Re-opening Plan” to be released by April 30th, with anticipated time frames (subject to change of course based upon public health data), testing requirements, and detailed information of how our businesses will start up again (i.e. 25% in the beginning), all coupled with proper and continued social distancing measures for our Western New York region. At this time, based upon current infection data, I am not calling for a firm phase-in start date yet, but a plan to be released by April 30th so preparations can be properly made.

Leader Barclay’s recommendations provide for a broad-based panel of medical experts, business leaders in technology, manufacturing, entertainment, food service and agriculture should be convened to make detailed recommendations of a re-open plan that can be vetted and executed upon at the appropriate time.

I have heard from hundreds of businesses in my district that have already developed action plans to incorporate safe social distancing practices into their operations and are prepared to implement and/or maintain them throughout this pandemic. Businesses across the state are flexible, creative and deserve to know the details of a phased in program so they can reasonably anticipate and adapt as time moves on. Furthermore, if a plan is set forth now by the Governor, it will provide ample time for businesses and organizations to offer feedback so the plan can be modified if needed before full implementation.

Providing a comprehensive regional reopening roadmap that prioritizes low risk industries within low risk areas that have safety plans and protocols in place to protect both employees and the general public, will ease people’s frustration and allow for them to strategically plan.

As we gradually reopen our economy, I strongly believe our that businesses in Western New York are eager to meet the challenges of this “new normal” and look forward to the opportunities that it will undoubtedly present.

State Assemblyman Michael Norris

Norris represents the 144th Assembly District which includes Shelby in Orleans County, and parts of Niagara and Erie counties.