MANH Lawmakers on the Move, Nov. 17, 2020

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Stringer Calls on Congress to Deliver Fair Federal Aid Package to New York

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer (Photo credit: Thomas Good, CC BY-SA 4.0)
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer

Yesterday, City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) called on the 116th Congress to deliver a fair federal aid package to New York before the end of their session.

At the moment, the second wave of COVID-19 is rapidly gathering momentum in the City, with infection, hospitalization and death rates ramping upward. In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin (R), Stringer stressed that the City will need additional federal aid if it hopes to survive the next wave.

“Here in New York, we took the necessary steps at the outset of the pandemic to meet the crisis head on, shutting down all non-essential businesses and restricting public gatherings,” wrote Stringer. “We took these actions because it was the right decision to protect the health and well-being of New Yorkers – and we successfully flattened the curve for a time.  But this public health emergency and our response to it has come at a cost.  We are on track to spend over $4.8 billion to respond to the pandemic – even while our local revenues have suffered a significant drop of $4 billion between fiscal years 2020 and 2021. New York State, upon which New York City relies for significant financial assistance for transportation, health, social services, and especially education spending, faces its own fiscal challenges, with projected budget shortfalls of $9 billion a year. 

“In short, we have done – and will continue to do – everything that is necessary to protect the health and well-being of our residents.  But we cannot do so without aid from the federal government.”

Read the full letter here.

Nadler, Maloney Urge Outgoing Trump Admin Against Midnight Rulemaking

U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler (Photo Credit: U.S. House Office of Photography)
U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Yesterday, U.S. Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn) and Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens) wrote a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), expressing concern that the Trump Administration could roll back health, safety and environmental protections during his last weeks in office.

The letter followed reports that the Trump Administration intends to rush through several regulatory rollbacks in the next few weeks. In the letter, Nadler and Maloney stressed that any policy changes enacted during this period should at least comply with the Congressional Review Act (CRA); this law mandates that federal agencies present their new rules to both houses of Congress before they go into effect.

“We have strong concerns that there may be last-minute roll-backs of health, safety, and environmental protections by the outgoing Trump Administration,” they wrote. “We are concerned that these “midnight rules” may be rushed through without providing Congress adequate time to review these rules, as required by law. These rules could include significant actions that have the potential to weaken air quality standards, lift protections for endangered species, jeopardize national security, or impose new immigration rules.”

Read the full letter here.

Krueger Urges Shutdown of Non-Essential Businesses in NYC if Positivity Rate Passes 3%

State Senator Liz Krueger (Photo provided by Krueger's Communications Office)
State Senator Liz Krueger

State Senator Liz Krueger (D-Upper East Side, Lenox Hill) issued a statement yesterday regarding the need to close bars, gyms and other non-essential businesses in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Since the beginning of November, the City’s positive test rate has been steadily rising, getting dangerously close to 3 percent. As soon as it passes that point, she said, we need to take drastic measures to stop it from climbing even higher.

“New Yorkers, especially essential and frontline workers, made great sacrifices to flatten the curve this spring,” said Krueger. “Now, with infections rising rapidly, we must not merely maintain vigilant, but ramp up our vigilance to keep transmission rates down and prevent our health care systems from becoming overwhelmed. We cannot let fear of short-term pain prevent us from taking action to prevent much greater, and much longer-term pain in the future.”