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Column: Assemblyman Phil Palmesano
“State Budget should be about emergency response and funding priorities, not controversial policy issues”Coronavirus is an unprecedented public health crisis. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with individuals and families who have been impacted by this crisis, especially those who have died, who are sick and all of the dedicated healthcare professionals who are on the front lines of this epidemic.
Our state is also facing an unprecedented fiscal crisis and a fast-approaching April 1 state budget deadline. Alarmingly, Gov. Cuomo and some Senate and Assembly Democrats are still treating budget negotiations as business as usual. They continue to push to include progressive, partisan policy proposals into the budget process. New Yorkers deserve better. Our constituents need us to be focused on passing a budget that addresses our state's fiscal crisis, fulfills our financial obligations, funds a robust response to the coronavirus and provides much-needed assistance to small businesses and their employees who have been crushed by this crisis.
Our Conference unveiled a plan last week, The Small Business Recovery Act of 2020, to provide relief to small business owners with tax credits, relief from costs and fees and access to needed capital. It’s exactly the kind of response that should be prioritized during budget negotiations.
--Immediately direct the state’s settlement reserve fund of $890 million to small businesses;
--Create a 0% interest loan program dedicated to helping small businesses meet their payroll commitments;
--Repurpose available tax credits to help the needs of the state’s existing small businesses;
--Use all economic development discretionary funding for existing small businesses within New York state;
--Move tax deadlines for remittance, business tax and personal income tax ahead 180 days;
--Suspend all regulatory fees on small businesses for 180 days; and
--Suspend the plastic bag ban for grocery stores for 180 days.
Now is not the time for the governor and others to push for partisan policy issues to be included in the final budget when we are facing a health and fiscal crisis in our state. Some of these policy proposals, such as banning Styrofoam containers, will place new, damaging financial burdens on our already-struggling small businesses like restaurants and bars. A new siting law to expedite the development of wind and solar farms in local communities throughout upstate New York will eviscerate local control and nullify local input and existing ordinances. It would set a very dangerous precedent. Legalizing marijuana would put more of a financial strain on our municipal social services and law enforcement agencies. These policies can be debated and considered at a later time. Now is not that time.
Emergencies don’t require a normal response. They require an emergency response. Let’s keep government running, let’s invest in our public health system, let’s provide emergency aid to small businesses and workers and let’s do it in a responsible and bipartisan way
Top row (from left): Carl Blowers, Jim Howell, Michael Lausell, Van Harp
Bottom row: Gary Gray, David Reed, Phil Barnes, Mark Rondinaro
Carl Blowers, 535-6174 or 237-5469
Gary Gray, 292-9922
Van Harp, 329-2160
Jim Howell, 535-7266 or 227-1141
David M. Reed, 796-9558
Michael Lausell, 227- 9226
Phil Barnes, Watkins Glen, 481-0482
Mark Rondinaro, 398-0648
County Clerk: Theresa Philbin, 535-8133
Sheriff: William Yessman, 535-8222
Undersheriff: Breck Spaulding, 535-8222
County Treasurer: Holley Sokolowski, 535-8181
District Attorney: Joseph Fazzary, 535-8383
State, Federal Officials for Schuyler County
Sen. Charles E. Schumer
United States Senate
Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand
United States Senate
State Senator Tom O'Mara -- Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates, western Tompkins, Enfield, Ithaca (Town and City), Newfield, Ulysses(Trumansburg)
Room 812, Legislative Office Building
Assemblyman Phil Palmesano--
Steuben, Schuyler, Yates
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869