ALBANY, NY—Earlier today, Governor Cuomo made a surprise announcement on WAMC when he stated that he will publicly outline his State Budget priorities this coming Tuesday, January 15th at an event in Albany. In light of the news, Senator Sue Serino urged the Governor to build on the progress the State has made in the fight against Lyme and tick-borne diseases (TBDs) by specifically earmarking funding for research, education, and prevention initiatives in his Executive Proposal for the first time.

Serino said, “New Yorkers across the state are suffering terribly from the devastating effects of Lyme and tick-borne diseases and the number of impacted residents continues to rise. For years, we have had to fight tooth and nail to get specific funding in the state budget to combat their spread and protect New Yorkers from their scourge. As the Governor works to establish his priorities for the coming year, I urge him not to leave these New Yorkers behind and to help us continue building on the important progress we have made by including critical funding in his Executive Budget Proposal.”

Serino has served as the Chair of the Senate’s Task Force on Lyme and TBDs since taking office and each year, she has successfully fought for funding to be included in the final state budget after it was repeatedly left out of the Executive’s proposal. Last year, the Senate was able to secure an unprecedented $1 million for the cause, bringing the total secured by Serino and her Senate colleagues to $2.6 million since she first took office.  

Serino continued, “In May, we were encouraged when the Governor announced an aggressive statewide Lyme and tick-borne disease control plan to address this persistent issue. However to truly be effective, state funds need to be specifically dedicated to the cause to bolster research, education, and prevention initiatives. On Tuesday, we hope to hear that the voices of countless New Yorkers are heard, and critical funding is dedicated to this important cause.”