Senators Tom O'Mara and Alexis Weik Urge Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins to Prioritize Key Issues with Influx of Federal Funding

Senator Thomas O’Mara, Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Senator Alexis Weik, Ranking Member of the Senate Budget and Revenue Committee, today penned a letter to Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins highlighting the Republican Conference’s key priorities for federal funds being provided by the American Rescue Plan, which can be allocated into the New York State Budget.

This week, Congress passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, which was subsequently signed by President Biden on March 11th. It has been reported that New York State is expected to receive $12.5 billion in direct aid, in addition to $12 billion for K-12 and Higher Education.

“We have an opportunity and a responsibility to utilize this one-time federal stimulus aid under a fiscally responsible, short- and long-term strategy for the post-COVID rebuilding, restoring, and resetting of New York State’s communities. Among other priorities, we should reject tax hikes, focus on badly needed tax relief, and make critical investments in local infrastructure that will strengthen local communities, economies, environments and governments. Equally important, we need to recognize the fiscal challenges New York will face for the foreseeable future, steer clear of any massive new taxing and spending, and bolster the state’s emergency reserve funds,” said Senator Tom O’Mara.

“While the State will continue to face a challenging fiscal future as we continue to navigate the pandemic, the significant infusion of over $12 billion in federal stimulus funding has put us on a very positive path. Our Conference will continue to focus on jobs, the economy, and making New York affordable across the State. That begins with rejecting new taxes and reinstating our middle class tax cuts, driving money to education, investing in infrastructure, and advancing policies to support and grow small businesses. I am proud to join Senator O’Mara and the rest of the Senate Republican Conference in putting forward this ambitious set of priorities,” said Senator Weik.

Key priorities highlighted by the Senate Republican Conference:  

  • Rejection of Tax Increases
  • Restoration of Middle Class Tax Cut
  • Broadband Expansion
  • Infrastructure Investment
  • Local Government Aid
  • Small Business Support
  • Restoration of Damaging Cuts to Key OPWDD and Mental Health Priorities
  • Creation of a new Rainy-Day Education Fund
  • Deposit Additional Funding in the State Rainy Day Fund

In spite of the scandals engulfing Albany, Senators O’Mara and Weik are committed to working to ensure New Yorkers are not short changed in the upcoming state budget. The financial assistance from Washington will help erase the state budget deficit, which is good news for New Yorkers who can’t afford the increased taxes proposed by Governor Cuomo and Democrats in the Senate and Assembly. It’s important to remember to put New Yorkers first during these grueling economic times.