Local governments are continuing to struggle with the economic and financial aftershocks of the coronavirus pandemic. But borrowing costs for schools and municipalities in the state is going to be a bit easier.
A report released Monday by the credit rating agency Moody's pointed to a recently approved measure that received little fanfare: A law that extends the rollover period for bond anticipation notes that are issued between 2015 and 2021.
The extension was for seven years, giving municipal governments and schools more breathing room as local officials work to contain the damage caused by the evaporated tax revenue created by the pandemic.
In effect, the law will open up options for schools and locla governments. One will allow those under significant strain to delay issuing long-term debt for at least two years and provide them some budgetary relief. Governments in better shape can roll over debt for an additional two years and shift long-term costs.
At the same time, the mesure will make it easier for local officials to access reserve funds to pay for costs created by the pandemic. They won't need a referendum to move money, giving them in effect instant access.
Local governments in New York are facing spending cuts and reductions in state aid, and officials at all levels in the state have called for billions of dollars in direct federal aid to offset the impact of the crisis.