Cuomo Threatens Litigation if Feds. Skimp on Funding
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is warning he will sue if Congress doesn’t send $15 billion in aid, which the Democrat says is the state’s fair share after years of being politically short-changed.
Cuomo January 19 presented two vastly different budget scenarios. One for if Congress provides New York with $6 billion and the other if New York receives the full $15 billion it wants to close its deficit caused by response to the coronavirus pandemic.
New York State is facing a dramatic loss in sales and income tax revenue in the wake of sweeping COVID-19 restrictions that jettisoned last February’s budget projections. The governor blames President Donald Trump’s administration for allowing COVID-19 to wreck the nation but most seriously devastate New York.
In his budget address, Cuomo said if Congress only sends the minimum $6 billion in aid “it’s the 2021 version of (the federal government) telling New York to ‘drop dead.”
Cuomo says the lower aid amount will force the state to make broad cuts to programs and services including education, housing, food aid and other assistance and healthcare and continue to hold back funding to local governments which, themselves are bearing a huge financial burden as a result of the pandemic.
That’s even if the state manages to bring in the increased revenue the Governor is hoping to see from the legalization, regulation and taxation of recreational marijuana and mobile sports betting. Cuomo is also proposing a tax increase on the wealth.
As it stands, the budget calls for spending $193 billion with $1.5 billion raised through a tax hike on New Yorkers making over $5 million a year, $350 million from legal marijuana and $500 million from mobile sports betting.
The Governor is also proposing a one-year delay in the middle class tax cut to save $400 million.
The Democrat says funding for schools and local governments as well as Medicaid can be fully restored if New York gets the federal help he says the state deserves giving its contributions to the country and the mistreatment he says the Empire State has gotten over the past four year and especially during the last year in response to the pandemic.
LOOK: Just some of the photos that capture the historic year that was 2020