Senator Joseph Griffo is calling on Governor Cuomo to release important COVID relief funding that could help communities and counties that are facing significant financial stress due to the pandemic.

The Federal CARES Act passed by Congress earlier this year included $7 billion in funding for New York state to be distributed to local governments.

Griffo says there is $1 billion dollars in funding remaining

He says the funding being withheld by the state Division of Budget could help smaller localities suffering from reduced sales tax revenue and lack of federal aid.

“Our local governments face significant fiscal challenges as a result of COVID-19,” Griffo said. “While these entities suffer financially, the Governor and his administration continue to withhold vital and needed federal funding that could help them during this difficult time. This is unacceptable. The Governor must release the remaining COVID relief funding immediately. Communities throughout my district and the state need help now. We should be doing all that we can to help them, not burdening them further in a time of need.”

Freeman Klopott from the New York State Division of budget issued the following statement regarding Senator Griffo’s request:

“The Federal government has failed to provide states and localities impacted by COVID-19 with assistance to offset the resulting revenue loss, which amounts to $30 billion over two years for New York State – funds that would be used to support hospitals, schools, and services for the vulnerable. The funds provided by the Federal government to the state through the CARES Act can only be used for narrowly defined COVID-related costs and the state will spend every dollar on eligible costs related to the pandemic response statewide, including personal protective equipment, testing, and contact tracing. These are expenses that would be footed by local governments if the state wasn’t doing so, and we hope the senator will join us in calling on the federal government to deliver funding to all levels of government to support critical services.”