NEW YORK STATE (WSYR-TV) — As the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden is just days away, local lawmakers are looking forward to some much needed federal support.
Biden has announced a $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan, and now the New York Conference of Mayors says it’s time for the state to release millions of dollars in withheld funds.
The organization says the state’s current policy, announced last summer, is having a negative impact on the ability for localities to provide essential services and maintain budgets without tax increases. The organization says $250 million has been withheld in transportation and AIM funding to localities since June.
Now, NYCOM is calling for the withheld funding to be released and for the full amounts to be included in the next budget.
“In that package is $350 billion for state and local aid. The state’s tax receipts are doing better than initially anticipated. The state has already received about $10 billion in federal stimulus funding, so we think the state can afford to release this money,” said Peter Baynes, NYCOM Executive Director.
The mayor of Hornell said the withholding has affected the local municipality.
“Earlier in the year the governor analysis withholdings of 20% across the board,” said John Buckley, Mayor of City of Hornell. “So 20% for the city of Hornell is 300,000, which is very significant and AIM funding is unrestricted eight so you know that can go to whatever you need it to please fire of water, sewer infrastructure. So it’s vital it’s critical.”
Governor Cuomo said during a press briefing on Friday that New York State needs $15 billion from the Washington rescue plan.