Democrats in the state Assembly on Wednesday urged their counterparts in the state's congressional delegation for direct federal aid for state and local governments in New York.
Tax revenue has evaporated due to the coronavirus pandemic, with New York resorting to short term borrowing and delaying pay raises for state employees.
Cuts to schools and health care are possible next month.
“To be blunt, we are struggling to find a path forward for our state and local governments to continue to operate without considerable financial assistance from our federal government. Without aid, we cannot continue to fund critical services such as healthcare, public safety, transportation and education," said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie in the letter signed by Democratic lawmakers. "Under the cloud of a global pandemic, the most productive state in the country is facing massive cuts to our medical professionals, first responders, teachers and transportation workers – those who put their lives on the line to keep New Yorkers safe and whose jobs do not end with the pandemic."
Billions of dollars are at stake for local governments as well. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has railed against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for raising bankruptcy as an option for cash-strapped states, a move that is currently illegal.