As President Donald Trump prepares to present the State of the Union Address to Congress and the American people, a resolution by the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) urges federal leaders to work together for the good of the nation. A good starting point would be a full year of funding for the remainder of the federal agencies. About two thirds of the federal government was fully funded for the year. View the resolution.
As many as 116,000 people in NYS worked for the federal government in 2017, and 14,000 of those workers work for departments affected by the shutdown, such as agriculture, justice, the state department, and treasury.
“Our county leaders weighed in on the shut down because we are concerned that back-to-back shutdowns will do great harm to New Yorkers that work for the federal government, it would threaten many of the federal programs we administer at the county level, and it would take a toll on public servants at all levels of government,” said NYSAC President Charles H. Nesbitt, Jr. the chief administrative officer of Orleans County.
In addition, the recent shutdown impacted some homeowners’ ability to pay their property taxes. In response, the State Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, a new law that allows impacted homeowners to pay their local property taxes late without the penalty of late fees or interest.
According to NYSAC’s resolution, the local impacts of the shutdown included:
- The risk of 2.7 million New Yorkers who depend on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (administered at the county level) going hungry;
- The suspension of more than 1,000 contracts between the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and landlords who rent to the poor;
- Federal loans that millions of college and university students rely on were delayed, leaving many unable to pay their tuition; and
- A reduction in critical inspections by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA); and
- Airport delays because of increased absences by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) workers and air traffic controllers that weren’t getting paid during the shutdown.
“With this resolution, we are urging New York’s Congressional delegation to come together with their colleagues and the White House to strike a deal that paves the way for a full year appropriation, so we can avert another shutdown and its far-reaching consequences,” said NYAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario.