Sen. Chuck Schumer, local leaders call for immediate financial relief for Capital Region

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer has called for immediate fiscal relief for local governments throughout the Capital Region. Several Capital Region leaders joined Schumer in his call for direct aid.

The Senator, Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy and Schenectady County Legislator Philip Fields gathered at Schenectady City Hall on Monday to push for direct federal aid for state and local governments.

Local governments in the Capital Region are facing financial devastation because of COVID-19:

  • The city of Schenectady estimates $12 million in lost revenue;
  • Schenectady County estimates $16 million in losses;
  • The city of Albany estimates $19 million in lost revenue:
  • Albany County estimates $30 million;
  • The city of Troy estimates $9.5 million; and
  • Rensselaer County estimates up to $20 million.

Schumer said, without direct federal aid, more staff in the Capital Region will continue to be cut or furloughed.

Schumer explained that as communities reopen and seek to recover, he is asking Congress to lend a hand in recovery and rebuilding the Capital Region.

“What will happen is very simple — there will be lots of lay offs. It will not be the fault of the people but the government’s if they don’t have money to pay their workers. There will also be a dramatic decrease in services,” said Schumer.  

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said city residents and the workforce cannot be asked to bear the burden whether through cuts to essential services, layoffs, or salary reductions.

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden said local municipalities are facing significant financial losses associated with the pandemic.

“These projected shortfalls threaten our ability to maintain critical operations and services in our community,” he said.

Schumer said Senate Republicans must join the push to act swiftly and decisively to provide a shot-in-the-arm of financial resources so state, county, and local governments can save tens of thousands of jobs, continue to offer essential services for their communities, and provide the assistance necessary to revive the economy.

Mayor McCarthy said there have been multiple set backs during the pandemic.

“We thought the casino would be open by now. Some of the other activities not have been quite what our original assumptions were as well,” said McCarthy.  

Schumer said providing urgent relief t state, county and local governments is not an abstract concept.

“It is keeping healthcare workers, firefighters, bus drivers and other public service workers on the job. Communities throughout the Capital Region were nothing short of heroes as they fought on the frontlines to protect their residents. They shouldn’t have to fight to keep their jobs, stay afloat, and keep hospitals open,” he said.

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