New York to Apply for Lost Wages Assistance Program as Per Budget Director, Robert Mujica
Today, the Office of the Governor of New York State issued a statement by the State Budget Director Robert Mujica stating that New York would be applying for the Lost Wages Assistance program.
On August 8, 2020, President Trump signed an executive order allowing for the Government to provide $400 assistance to those suffering through lost wages. Of that amount, $300 were to provided by the Federal Government with the remainder to be completed by the states.
The executive order goes by the title: Memorandum on Authorizing the Other Needs Assistance Program for Major Disaster Declarations Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019
Today’s statement from New York State Budget Director Robert Mujica, who often attends the Governor’s press conferences, is as follows:
“Now that the federal government has blinked and will no longer make states provide funding they do not have, New York State will apply for the Lost Wages Assistance program. As Governor Cuomo has said, politics does not impact policy — especially during a pandemic — and if New Yorkers are in need, this administration will do everything we can to support them. But make no mistake, this does not absolve Washington from doing its job, and they must pass a comprehensive aid package that provides a stable extension of unemployment benefits, repeals the SALT cap and supports local and state governments. Anything else would simply be unacceptable
Two days ago, Governor Andrew Cuomo spoke was asked if the state would take advantage of some new regulation allowing for states to be absolved of the 25% contribution.
“I don’t know that any of it is legal – if the whole executive order mechanism is legal. So, I think this is all an artificial construction for political reasons as a tactic in their legislative negotiation … so none of it is real,” stated the Governor.
It would not be the first time that Mr. Cuomo’s expressed his unapproval about the president’s executive order.
On August 10, two days after Trump’s memorandum the Governor had the following to say:
“Even if you got past the legal challenges, you make it impossible for a state. It would cost New York State $4 billion between now and December to pay 25 percent of the unemployment insurance. His executive order says the unemployment insurance could be $400 but the state has to pay 100 of the 400 – that’s $4.2 billion. We started with a $30-billion hole and your solution is to cost me another $4 billion? Thank you. That’s handing the drowning man an anchor [A]n anchor does not help a drowning man. So, I hope this was just a tactic by the president but if he thinks this is a resolution, this only makes a bad situation worse. And this is a president who’s trying to show leadership because the American people are demanding leadership in the midst of this crisis and this only sets him back. My advice to the President is, when you are in a hole – stop digging. This Executive Order only digs the hole deeper. It’s the last thing the people of this country needed.”