MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Mar. 20, 2020

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Johnson Proposes $12 Billion Relief Plan

Council Member Corey Johnson
Council Member Corey Johnson (Credit: Jeff Reed)

Yesterday, Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) proposed a $12 billion relief plan to help workers and businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The proposal includes temporary UBI for all New Yorkers, refunding business taxes, and the allocation of $250,000 to cover fixed costs for struggling businesses. It also includes unemployment protections for freelancers and gig economy workers.

Johnson suggested that the federal government could pay for the package; failing that, he said, it could be funded by selling bonds. As he pointed out, the sale of bonds helped prop up NYC’s economy in the wake of 9/11 while they waited for federal aid.

This is a crisis unlike any we’ve ever seen,” said Johnson. “However, the tools that have helped us in the past can be utilized again. The difficult steps we’ve taken to protect ourselves and others are necessary, including social distancing and mandatory closures, but they are devastating our businesses and workers in every corner of the city. The hospitality industry has been the most high-profile industry impacted, but gyms, performance venues, salons, retail shops and many other types of businesses are shuttering or close to it. This plan will provide relief not just for our economy, but also for the small businesses and workers that are the heart and soul of New York City.”

Quart Summarizes Approach to Tackle Recession

Assemblyman Dan Quart

Yesterday, Assemblymember Dan Quart (D-) emailed NYCP to tell us how he intends to confront the incoming recession.

Quart’s plan includes the suspension of commercial rent taxes, so that small business owners can prioritize their employees’ salaries. He also suggests expanding the City’s grant and loan program to minimize layoffs. To pay for these measure – among others – he proposes raising taxes on the City’s wealthiest.

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the call for the wealthiest in our state to pay their fair share is louder than ever before,” said Quart. “By raising taxes on New York’s most fortunate, we can generate the revenue needed to expand housing services, guarantee funding for our public schools, and build a more robust health care system. Further, let’s put money directly in the hands of those who need it most, helping New Yorkers get back on their feet, and move forward as we are known to do.”

Niou Outlines Economic Stimulus Plan

Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou
Assembly Member Yuh-Line Niou

Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou (D-Chinatown, Financial District) sent a statement to NYCP yesterday outlining her plan to help New York recover from the coronavirus-induced recession.

Niou divided her proposals into three categories: relief for working families, relief for small businesses, and immediate public health relief. The former two categories include measures such as paid sick leave to all workers and a moratorium on commercial evictions for the next six months. Meanwhile, the latter includes the distribution of free health supplies and the cleaning and disinfection of NYCHA buildings.

“From 9/11 to Hurricane Sandy, our district has been consistently defined by our resilience,” said Niou. “We will rise from the economic crisis developing as a result of COVID-19 by enacting bold, visionary plans that reflect our values and prioritize working families, small businesses, and the most vulnerable. While Trump looks to bail out huge corporations and the wealthy, we will act quickly to deal with the economic needs of the people and small businesses in our community, while also addressing public health and social safety-net necessities.”