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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.

It would:

--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

Photo in text: Asssemblyman Phil Palmesano

Schuyler County Officials

Legislature Members:

Top row (from left): Carl Blowers, Jim Howell, Michael Lausell, Van Harp

Bottom row: Gary Gray, David Reed, Phil Barnes, Mark Rondinaro


Legislature Chairman

Carl Blowers, 535-6174 or 237-5469

Legislature Members:

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
313 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-3201
DC Phone: 202-224-6542
DC Fax: 202-228-3027
Email Address:

Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand

United States Senate
478 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
DC Phone: 202-224-4451

State Senator Tom O'Mara -- Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates, western Tompkins, Enfield, Ithaca (Town and City), Newfield, Ulysses(Trumansburg)

Room 812, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247
Phone: (518) 455-2091
Fax: (518) 426-6976

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano-- Steuben, Schuyler, Yates
Room 723, Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248
Phone: (518) 455-5791


© The Odessa File 2017
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869