ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Senate leaders from each party gave their closing remarks on the budget in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says federal aid from the American Rescue Plan was desperately needed to offset the economic damage from COVID-19. Additionally, she highlighted the additional direct state funding that will go to business owners.
“This is a bold budget that takes historic action during unprecedented times, and for that, I am proud,” said Stewart-Cousins.
Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt doesn’t think the plan is enough. He adds that the budget wastes the federal aid instead of using it to stimulate the economy.
“It is a bad budget for small businesses, it is a bad budget for working class, tax paying, law abiding New Yorkers,” said Ortt.
One of the main points of contention between parties is the Excluded Worker Fund.
Stewart-Cousins says it will provide financial resources to workers who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic but were ineligible for aid. Ortt calls it a “$2.1 billion taxpayer giveaway to illegal immigrants,” and accuses the majority of using it to push their “agenda.” Stewart-Cousins calls the rhetoric from Republicans on this issue “dehumanizing.”