In the face of the coronavirus crisis that’s led to unprecedented uncertainty, financial loss, and changes to daily life in New York, the Senate Republican Conference came prepared to act swiftly to deal with this emergency.
We need to put a smart, streamlined budget plan in place that keeps critical operations moving forward and addresses the critical, immediate needs that are confronting New York as a result of the coronavirus crisis. The state is anticipating billions of dollars in losses and the Legislature should not simply hand over all oversight of potential decisions to the Executive in any budget, and instead revisit this budget as we move ahead.
What we should not be doing, under any circumstances, is jamming completely unrelated and highly controversial policy measures in place when all New Yorkers are appropriately focused on dealing with this crisis.
At a time when we are practicing social distancing, and when the CDC recommends people not congregate in groups larger than ten, it is undemocratic to slip policies into a budget that cannot be discussed by stakeholders who visit Albany or debated on the floor.
It’s time to lead by example and practice what we preach to the public about the importance of social distancing. We can pass a streamlined budget that deals solely with the finances of the state and that pertains solely to the coronavirus crisis, and go no further than those bounds.