Recently, New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to release one billion dollars in unused federal CARES Act funds that remain in New York State's coffers. The federal CARES Act originally contained $7 billion in funding for the State of New York and was distributed to local governments with populations greater than 500,000 residents. While this was helpful to New York State, its largest cities, and larger counties, reduced sales tax revenue and a lack of federal aid have put immense financial pressure on many smaller governments around the state.
"Each day that passes, small towns, villages, and county governments across our state are being forced to make difficult financial decisions due to the lack of state funding and planning," said Leader Ortt. "One billion of the approximately three billion dollars remaining from the original CARES Act funding is currently categorized for "other" use and I can think of no better way to make use of this "other" category spending than to throw a lifeline to our struggling local governments."
Ortt called for the Division of the Budget to immediately release the funding to local governments who did not receive previous assistance. He also suggested that distribution from these available funds should be allocated by utilizing the same formula used for local governments in the state's Aid and Incentives to Municipalities (AIM) distribution.