Cuomo calls for state and local aid in next COVID-19 stimulus package

Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

While coronavirus numbers are remaining steady in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo is continuing to call for state and local aid in the next COVID-19 stimulus package.

On July 27, New York performed 57,397 tests, with 534 testing positive — giving New York an infection rate of 0.93 percent. The total number of hospitalizations was 648, with 9 fatalities due to COVID-19.

The number of new intubations dropped to 81, the lowest number of new intubations since March 15. With COVID cases on the rise in multiple states, New York’s list of states that require quarantine has risen to 34, adding on Illinois, Kentucky and Minnesota, plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

“Our job is to make sure we are doing everything we can to control COVID and anticipate any potential issues,” Cuomo told reporters on July 28. “If we get lazy, if we get sloppy, you’ll see the numbers go up.”

Cuomo expressed his disdain over a recent outdoor concert that took place in Southampton. Cuomo stated that multiple social distancing rules were violated, and questioned why a permit was granted for the event and why local law enforcement didn’t get involved when everything got out of control.

“It was a gross violation of public health rules, it was a gross violation of common sense,” said Cuomo. “It was grossly disrespectful to fellow New Yorkers. The Department of Health is performing a full investigation into the issue.”

Cuomo once again appealed to the federal government to make sure that the new COVID-19 stimulus package has state and local funding. The current stimulus package, Cuomo says, only gives flexibility to states which have unspent money during the pandemic, something that New York does not have. Cuomo stated that not giving state and local aid is hypocritical for the Republican party.

According to Cuomo, if the stimulus package passed by the Senate does not have state and local funding, it could dramatically change major components in everyday life, including raising property taxes, bridge tolls, MTA and LIRR fares, as well as affecting construction and your school’s budget.

“If they repeal SALT, as they should, you’ll see property taxes go down. If they don’t, they will raise property taxes,” said Cuomo. “If the state doesn’t get funding, we can’t give funding to the MTA, and you could see higher rates for the LIRR, the New York City subway system and buses. Construction will slow at JFK and LaGuardia airports. I want New Yorkers to know the consequences.”

Cuomo in particular called on Senators Charles Shumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to be held accountable as this process to create a stimulus bill continues.

“No one will be able to deceive the American public with the fog they create,” said Cuomo. “They’re going to know whether or not their property taxes, or if the MTA fares went up. They’re going to know if JFK and LaGuardia get rebuilt. They’re going to know if the economy came back or if there was more incompetence.”

Cuomo also took a jab at New York’s Republican representatives who have been silent on the matter, stating that their silence has been “deafening.”

“I understand that many of them have sworn loyalty to their republican conservative party ideals,” said Cuomo. “But once and awhile it would be nice if they could stand up and represent the people in their districts.”

This story originally appeared on amny.com

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