Association of Counties praises Schumer for being ‘fierce ally’ for local governments

Posted 16 January 2021 at 10:13 am

Senator has been strong advocate in pressing for federal aid for states, municipalities

Press Release, New York State Association of Counties

The New York State Association of Counties on Friday recognized U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and his partnership with President-Elect Joe Biden on a new Coronavirus Stimulus Package that will move the economy forward and help the states and local governments that have been on the front lines of this pandemic since last March.

Sen. Charles Schumer

President-Elect Joe Biden on Thursday announced his plans for a new coronavirus stimulus package that includes funding for states and local governments. The Biden plan reflects proposals put forth by Senator Chuck Schumer throughout the pandemic.

“New York’s local governments are incredibly fortunate to have such a fierce ally as our senior senator and incoming Majority Leader, ”said NYSAC President Jack Marren, chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors. “From the beginning of this pandemic, Senator Schumer has fought to ensure states and county governments have what they need to battle this pandemic, and this proposal is a direct result of his dogged advocacy on our behalf.”

The Biden plan comes a day after Senator Schumer introduced the bi-partisan Direct Support for Communities Act, which provides local governments with direct federal relief that can be used to pay for essential services, retain frontline workers, and offset lost revenues and increased costs from the Covid-19 emergency.

“This bill provides the direct, flexible and unrestricted aid counties need to make up for the unprecedented revenue shortfalls brought on by the pandemic, said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario. “Without this direct aid, counties will be hamstrung to do the essential work necessary to end the pandemic, including setting up Covid-19 vaccination sites, providing contact tracing and testing, and delivering essential services to children, families and seniors who have been struggling during the pandemic.”

Since March of last year, counties across New York have seen their revenues plummet by an estimated $1.5 billion. Sales tax losses could reach $325 million for counties through 2021, state revenue cuts represent a $645 million loss, potentially increase to $965 million through 2021, and Native American gaming revenues and hotel occupancy taxes amount to almost $220 million in losses for counties through 2021.

“Leading the response to this pandemic, and now the vaccine effort, is possibly the most important thing counties may ever do and it’s critical that we have the resources to do it effectively,” said New York State County Executives Association President and Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro. “We don’t have a second to lose, Congress must pass this bill and send it to President Biden during his first 100 days so we can end this pandemic, get our economy moving again, and get us all back to the cherished activities that fill our lives with meaning.”