County execs support House effort to fund COVID-19 cash shortfalls

HUDSON VALLEY – The House-approved Heroes’ Act would provide $500 million to Westchester County, $165 million to Dutchess County, and $216 million to Orange County.

County executives from all three counties joined Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D, NY-18) Thursday on Zoom to urge the Senate to approve the measure so they could recoup the millions lost by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maloney noted without the federal aid, the localities are going to suffer tremendous financial hardships.

“The fact is that we are going to be waking up to the reality of cuts at the local level and school districts are not going to plan and we are not going to be able to survive indefinitely and provide the kind of services we need, and this is not something we can wait indefinitely on” he said. “These guys can tell you, there is going to be a consequence if we don’t make progress soon.”

Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus, Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, and Westchester Executive George Latimer all pointed to the millions in losses they face due to the economic shutdown.

The Hudson Valley region is just shy of the metrics needed to begin reopening the economy and Neuhaus led the charge calling on the state to approve the reopening now.

Later in the day on Thursday, State Assemblyman Karl Brabenec (R, Deerpark) announced his support of Neuhaus’ call to reopen the local economy now.

“Our region’s small businesses and residents need economic relief and they need it now. We have proven that we can safely re-open our economy and start rebuilding. I urge the Governor to move forward with this request,” Brabenec said. “Furthermore,  I call on Speaker Heastie to call the Assembly back to Albany so we can restore our representative democracy.”

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