POUGHKEEPSIE, NY—Senator Sue Serino today released the following statement:

“Earlier today, the Governor announced that there is a three-way agreement on a mandatory paid sick and disability leave proposal (A. 10152) that is just now being made available to the public. It is my understanding that this bill will be voted on in less than 24 hours and that the proposal being discussed does not deal with leave only during this time of emergency, but would put into statute new rules that businesses would have to adhere to permanently

This is politics at its worst. Our small businesses are the backbones of our communities. As they do their part to help keep our communities safe and healthy, many of them are feeling tremendous pressure. They do not have time to monitor or speak out against proposals moving rapidly through Albany that could have serious long-term consequences for them. We need to protect our workers and ensure that they have resources they need to weather this storm. The state should be using the resources we have dedicated to this crisis to directly help employees who have been hard hit by this emergency, not continuously asking small businesses to shoulder the entirety of the burden. 

I urge my colleagues to reject this proposal, and any proposal that does not serve to meet the immediate needs of New Yorkers grappling with this current emergency—that includes a budget loaded with policy proposals. The only thing we should be acting on in Albany is a bare-bones budget that keeps government and vital services functioning. To do anything else at a time when the rest of the state is being asked to come to a standstill would not only be irresponsible, it would be a slap in the face to hard-working taxpayers. 

Now is not the time for partisan politics. I urge my colleagues to do the right thing and keep our full focus on helping New Yorkers navigate our new reality.”