ALBANY, N.Y. (WWNY) - Faced with what he describes as a “$61 billion hole” in the state budget, Governor Cuomo called on the U.S. Senate Saturday to quickly pass billions in aid.
“They shouldn’t delay, they shouldn’t be captive of special interests," Cuomo said at his daily coronavirus briefing.
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives approved a $3 trillion relief bill Friday which includes $500 billion in aid to states and $375 billion for local governments.
But the Republican-controlled senate is not expected to take up the bill, effectively killing it.
Cuomo warned again Saturday that if the federal government doesn’t provide billions in aid to cover the state’s massive budget gap, “there will be cuts.”
Where will the cuts fall? Cuomo points out the state “funds schools, we fund hospitals and we fund local governments.”
Since the state went on “pause” weeks ago, effectively stopping most economic activity, state and local tax collections have been in free fall, coming up billions of dollars short. And even though much of the state - including the north country - is gradually reopening, much of that money is lost for good.
Cuomo also announced Saturday that horse racing - without fans in the stands - will resume June 1, as will racing at the Watkins Glen speedway.
The number of New Yorkers killed by COVID-19 is now consistently below 200 a day, and has been since at least May 10. The number of dead Friday was 157.
“We’re right about where we we were when we started,” the governor said.
And Cuomo again cautioned - as he has in recent days - that reopening the state’s businesses and public places comes with risk: “You increase economic activity, we expect to see an increase in numbers," of people infected, Cuomo said.
"We don’t want to see a spike.”
Cuomo also said the number of new cases continues to decrease, and that the new cases appear to be not from essential workers, as he expected, but from people staying at home.