ALBANY, N.Y. (June 24, 2020) — At a time when our cities are hurting from the loss of revenue, and the needs of New Yorkers are dramatically increasing, Governor Cuomo has abandoned his responsibility to take action.
The Governor would have us all believe that he bears no responsibility for that financial and emotional pain that residents of this state are experiencing and that it’s all Donald Trump’s fault. Meanwhile the governor is “withholding” 20% of the Aid to Municipalities (AIM) or $74 million from 12 cities (Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers, Syracuse, White Plains, Rensselaer, Amsterdam, Corning, Lackawanna, Long Beach, and Watertown). This sudden withholding of aid to cities is not without consequences. Now, he says he isn’t’ cutting aid, but “withholding” it until more federal aid comes along. At some point, the Governor Cuomo needs to stop waiting for Donald Trump to come to his rescue and take permanent action to restore New York’s safety net now, and for years to come.
The governor has shown his hand: he used the first round of stimulus funding from the CARES Act to backfill the hole he created by cutting school aid, cutting aid to localities and even health care. In April, Governor Cuomo hijacked $1.1 billion in school aid that the federal government designated for the educational needs of students in predominantly Black and Brown, and low income communities, which were also the hardest hit by COVID-19.
Governor Cuomo’s continued refusal to tax his billionaire friends and donors while balancing budgets on the backs of New Yorkers who have lost their jobs, have seen drastic cuts to their schools and have lost loved ones, shows us he has the wrong priorities. Cuomo’s legacy is one of utter disregard for the needs of poor and working class New Yorkers.