The money isn't being cut, it's just being withheld.
When that money is officially cut, however, remains to be seen.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday said there is no firm date for when deep spending reductions to local governments, health care and education will be made permanent. More likely, he said, it's contigent whether there is any hope for federal aid to states whose budgets have been ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.
"There is no drop dead date," Cuomo said of when the cuts would take effect. "We're dealing with an annual budget. So the drop dead date is what you declare, in some ways. If you conclude the federal government is not going to provide any aid, period, then these are the numbers and then you would act on those numbers. But we're not there yet."
But the cuts took one step closer to reality this week as the state withheld millions of dollars in funding for a dozen cities, including Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse.
Local governments already have faced anemic sales tax revenue since March and some have started to cut municipal workers in an effort to trim costs.
Democrats in the state Senate, meanwhile, released a letter on Wednesday to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Wednesday urging he back direct aid.
"Local governments affected by these measures have advised us that the loss of funding may mean job cuts for critical employees, halting infrastructure projects and curtailing other necessary services," the lawmakers wrote in the letter, which was signed by rank-and-file members as well as Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. "These are unacceptable results. Your delay is causing real hardship and the time for politics passed long ago. Do the right thing and provide our localities the funding they require and deserve. Thank you for your prompt attention to this important matter."
Some advocates are pushing for a tax increase on billionaires in order to make up the difference in lost revenue, a move the governor has not embraced.