County governments do not want a temporary coronavirus stimulus measure that only extends pandemic unemployment assistance for several months.
The so-called "skinny" bill for the latest stimulus package has been rejected as county governments in New York seek a broader measure that will include direct relief.
But aid to state and local governments, whose finances have been devastated by the pandemic, remains a key sticking point in resolving the bills backed by the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate and the Democratic-led House of Representatives.
“New Yorkers can’t afford any more delay, and neither can the nation," said Albany County Executive Dan McCoy. "Local governments have been tightening their belts and finding ways to do more with less, but with the economy still sputtering, counties are being forced to make cuts to services and infrastructure projects that will adversely affect our residents, and make reductions to staff that will only prolong the length and severity of the recession."
The rejected compromise would have extended the $600 in weekly unemployment assistance for workers who have lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
New York's state government is seeking billions of dollars of aid in the next stimulus measure, while county governments have seen their sales, occupancy and other taxed revenue sink dramatically since the pandemic swept through the state in March.
For now it's not clear what will happen to the state's disbursement of money if the talks in Washington continue to drag on. Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration has already withheld millions of dollars in funding for non-profit groups as well as some local governments, but the cuts are not yet official.
"You want me to say what's my plan based on failure of our efforts?" Cuomo said Friday in a WAMC interview. "I don't plan on failure. Let's plan on success."