Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I,Ref-Schoharie) is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to focus on the unemployment crisis caused by COVID-19 as working people throughout the state struggle to receive their benefits and pay their bills. As families throughout the state suffer due to the Department of Labors inability to process benefits, the governor has used his daily press conferences to discuss grandiose plans to reimagine various elements of governance. Tague said the governor is out of touch with the concerns of unemployed New Yorkers, and the state government should focus on solving the problems of unemployment and food availability before discussing any ideas for grand reforms.
People arent calling my office in tears because they want a reimagining of education or of New York by Wall Street billionaires, its because theyve lost their careers and theyre worried they wont be able to feed their families said Tague. People cant even fill their fridges at the grocery store, as this crisis has caused stores to ration products. Our job as elected officials is to vocalize and respond to the concerns of the people we represent, but the commissioner of labor the governor appointed has been silent on the issue of ineffectiveness in processing unemployment claims. Even if the numbers wont make the governor look good, New Yorkers deserve that transparency. Part of being a leader is owning up to your actions and their results, and its about time the governor faces the fact that people are really hurting. For the governor to say that criticism of the Department of Labor is a cheap political shot is dismissive of the real hardships people are facing because of the issues and shows that his priority is not to help the working people of this state. I am appalled the governor has exploited the uncertainty of these times to push pie-in-the-sky ideas, because as he spends his time imagining how to use this crisis to push his agenda, a lot of people are wondering how theyre going to feed their kids tomorrow. Criticizing the inaction of the labor department isnt about politics, its about getting people the help theyve been promised and assuring this never happens again.