With the coronavirus pandemic causing significant financial challenges for many, New York State Sen. Joseph Griffo, R-I-C-Rome, today requested that Gov. Andrew Cuomo give local governments extended time to complete or adopt their budgets.
Many cities, towns and villages have only a single employee or a handful of personnel crafting their budgets each year. This is often a challenge under normal circumstances, but is almost impossible now since a decision regarding aid to state and local governments has yet to be made by Washington.
A recent report by the state Comptroller’s Office indicated that, while, some municipalities have “rainy day” funds to which they can turn to help absorb revenue losses, not all have a great deal of money in reserve. As a result, some of these local governments may be forced to reduce staff and services to help balance their budgets. Greater reductions could be possible in 2021, according to the report, which is why it is important that local governments have more time to prepare.
“I understand that, in the past, jurisdictions have been given flexibility upon interacting with the state,” Sen. Griffo said. “Following conversations with local officials, I am requesting that municipalities be given similar budgetary flexibility during the current public health crisis. These entities are facing a variety of challenges. Giving them more time to adopt their budgets can help them to better prepare for and weather a potentially long-term economic downturn related to COVID-19.”