“As a legislator, I have a duty to ensure taxpayer money is spent responsibly. I also have a duty to ensure the basic needs of my constituents are being met. The Excluded Workers Fund included in this year’s state budget does not meet either of these goals and in good conscience I will not support it.
“Families in Saratoga and Washington Counties are still struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day I hear from constituents who have lost their jobs or have been forced to close their businesses. They are then met with roadblock after roadblock as they face an overburdened unemployment system when trying to file a claim. Part time employees and parents have been forced to leave the workforce to homeschool their children and have been left struggling with little to no financial assistance.Mental health programs, veteran’s assistance programs, and adult literacy programs have remained underfunded year after year.Nursing homes and hospitals are financially unstable in the wake of this pandemic.Our government resources are limited and, as such, they should go toward existing programs that that address these underserved populations to the benefit all New Yorkers.“I will always support economic fairness for all New Yorkers. Income replacement programs, like unemployment insurance, were created to ensure that working people have a basic safety net when they fall on hard times, but these programs don’t cover all people.There are other existing programs to help people who have been excluded from the income replacement programs and catch them up on their back obligations and provide other assistance.”