NYS 2022 Executive Budget proposal amplifies counties' call for federal aid

Submitted by Press Release on Wed, 01/20/2021 - 11:47

Press release:

On Tuesday, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo outlined the SFY 22 New York State Executive Budget, which calls on Washington to deliver state and local aid. Counties have pledged to continue working with the Governor, State lawmakers, and our NYS Congressional delegation to urge Washington to provide federal funds for states and local governments.

Without this aid, the Governor said he will be forced to make dramatic cuts, which would impact county budgets, place new burdens on local taxpayers, and jeopardize county health and human service programs for the New Yorkers most in need. 

The budget presentation materials supplied by the Division of Budget contained several key proposals that counties proposed in November, including:

  • Making local sales tax authority permanent and allowing all counties to go to 4 percent; 
  • Collecting of local sales tax on recreational cannabis transactions;
  • Reducing in the state's withholding of local aid – contingent upon the amount of federal aid;
  • Reducing the judgement interest rates to the market interest rate;
  • Extending the authority to piggyback on contracts for two years;
  • Allowing shared jails between contiguous counties;
  • Providing flexibility in jail staffing;
  • Reforming Early Intervention to provide savings and greater flexibility;
  • Expanding investment options for local governments.

NYSAC will provide more details from the proposed spending plan as they become available. 

NYSAC President Jack Marren said “While this state budget proposal includes plenty of unknowns, especially whether the federal government will provide state and local COVID response funding, we are optimistic that our county leaders can work with state lawmakers to finalize a budget that strengthens our communities and help rebuild our local economies.

"Our staff of legislative experts at NYSAC will be looking through the budget bills as they become available, and they will report on areas of direct and indirect impact on counties.”

Hawley is disappointed with Cuomo's 2022 Executive Budget Address

Press release:

“Over the course of an hour today (Jan. 19) the Governor got on TV and continued to blame everyone and everything but himself for our state’s financial woes," said Assemblyman Steve Hawley. "Instead of threatening to sue the federal government if they don’t do enough to bail us out of the mess the Governor had a great deal to do with, he should be talking about what we can do ourselves to cut wasteful spending, because we can’t always rely on Washington to save us from our Governor’s bad spending habits.

"What New Yorkers needed to hear was a detailed plan to work with local governments to distribute vaccines effectively, save our small businesses and help families keep food on their tables, but all they got today were a few helpful proposals mixed among a sea of wasteful ones, including a proposal to spend $10 million this year on helping illegal immigrants pay their legal fees. Now more than ever we need to tighten our belts fiscally and focus on what matters, and I am disappointed today’s budget address did neither.”

Press Release Wed, 01/20/2021 - 11:37

Motor vehicle accident reported at East Road, Route 20 in Bethany

Submitted by Howard Owens on Wed, 01/20/2021 - 09:03

A two-vehicle accident with a possible injury is reported on Route 20 at East Road in Bethany.

Bethany fire and ambulance dispatched.

Pavilion fire asked to standby in quarters.

UPDATE 9:03 a.m.: A patient is disoriented and is being cared for inside a neighboring residence.

UPDATE 10:09 a.m.: Patient being transported to UMMC for evaluation.

State's new unemployment benefit rules will allow job seekers to work part-time

Submitted by Press Release on Tue, 01/19/2021 - 18:14

Press release:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a proposal to boost partial Unemployment Insurance benefits to New Yorkers who return to work part time as part of the 2021 State of the State.

The plan will ensure unemployed New Yorkers who accept part-time work are not penalized by basing their partial unemployment benefits on the hours they actually work, rather than the number of days they work in a given week. This change will inject more money into New York's economy while helping businesses fill part-time positions.

Legislation to be submitted with the Executive Budget will permanently enact a Partial UI program to incentivize unemployed New Yorkers to assume a part-time job as they search for full-time work, with a revised calculation made possible by technological improvements currently underway.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, New York State has distributed more than $62 billion in unemployment benefits to 4 million New Yorkers -- representing over 29 typical years' worth of benefits paid in just 10 months. This includes more than $1 billion paid during the week of Jan. 4, 2021 to New Yorkers through newly extended federal unemployment programs, which New York implemented weeks ahead of most other states.

"The COVID pandemic has created dual crises, putting Americans' physical health and financial wellbeing at risk -- and in New York we are addressing both sides of this public health emergency. I am immediately directing the Department of Labor to change outdated rules so as we build back from the pandemic, unemployed New Yorkers aren't penalized for taking part-time jobs," Governor Cuomo said.

"Encouraging part-time work will help New Yorkers get back to work quickly, give small businesses the flexibility needed to navigate these difficult times, and ensure our neighbors have money to put food on the table."

New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for moving this proposal forward. No New Yorker should be discouraged from taking part-time work for fear of losing critical benefits when they are trying to do what is necessary to provide for their families and transition back into the workforce full time. This new plan is an important pathway for our workforce, our businesses, and our communities."

Under current law, unemployed New Yorkers' weekly benefits are reduced by 25 percent for each day an individual works, regardless of the hours worked -- unfairly penalizing those who accept part-time jobs. This meant that anyone who worked four or more days -- even if they only worked one hour per day -- would have to forfeit their entire weekly benefit.

In order to fix this illogical system of partial unemployment, Governor Cuomo will direct the Department of Labor to immediately implement emergency measures that base partial unemployment benefits on the number of hours actually worked over the course of a week.

Under this new system, unemployed New Yorkers can work up to seven days per week and still receive some unemployment benefits as long as they work fewer than 30 hours and earn no more than $504 in gross pay. The new method of calculating partial benefits is outlined below:

  • New Yorkers who work between zero and four hours in a week and earn no more than $504 will receive their full unemployment benefit;
  • New Yorkers who work between four and 10 hours in a week and earn no more than $504 will receive 75 percent of their unemployment benefit;
  • New Yorkers who work between 10 and 20 hours in a week and earn no more than $504 will receive half of their unemployment benefit;
  • New Yorkers who work between 20 and 30 hours in a week and earn no more than $504 will receive 25 percent of their unemployment benefit;
  • New Yorkers who work over 30 hours in a week, regardless of earnings, will not receive any of their unemployment benefit.

New Yorkers will still be required to submit weekly certifications online or over the phone to receive their benefits each week. However, to allow the DOL to immediately implement this change, claimants will use a formula to convert the number of hours they work into a number of "days" to report when certifying.

When DOL's certification system asks for the number of days worked, New Yorkers will add together the total number of hours they worked during a given week and use the following chart to determine how their weekly hours worked translates to the number of days they should report when certifying.

The changes will go into effect for work done on or after Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, which unemployed New Yorkers certify for starting on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021.

Hours Worked In A Given Week Number of Days to Report When Certifying Percent Reduction in Benefits
0 4 0 0
4.1 10 1 25%
10.1 20 2 50%
20.1 30 3 75%

When totaling hours for the week, claimants should use a maximum of 10 hours per day, even if they worked more hours during a day.

In order to implement this reform and support unemployed New Yorkers, Governor Cuomo will launch a Workforce Forward Strike Team, which will bring together experts from the DOL, the Governor's Workforce Development Office and the Empire State Development Corporation to connect unemployed New Yorkers seeking part-time employment with small businesses that are looking for part-time workers.

The strike team will also help businesses develop strategies to utilize the flexibility part-time workers provide as they build back from the pandemic.

In addition, Governor Cuomo will direct the DOL to strengthen its Shared Work Program, which enables employers to avoid layoffs by allowing workers to receive partial Unemployment Insurance benefits while working reduced hours. This program, which has been in place since 1986, became a vital lifeline for businesses across the state as they made temporary staff reductions in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, the DOL has already reduced required paperwork and improved the plan approval and certification processes, enabling the Shared Work Program to handle a 10-fold increase in the number of plans in 2020 -- helping more than 60,000 New Yorkers stay at work during the coronavirus pandemic. In the coming year, the DOL will conduct targeted outreach efforts and implement new technology that will make it easier for employers to learn about and participate in this critical program.

Jacobs calls on House colleague to apologize for remarks about National Guard

Press release:

Representatives Chris Jacobs (NY-27), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Andrew Garbarino (NY-02), Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), Tom Reed (NY-23), Lee Zeldin (NY-1), and John Katko (NY-24) are calling upon Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) to apologize for his comments denigrating members of the National Guard.

“Representative Cohen’s reckless comments attacking members of the National Guard are disrespectful and divisive. These men and women proudly serve our nation and have been working nonstop for the past week to ensure our safety and that of the incoming administration tomorrow.  

“New York proudly has over 1,400 members of our National Guard members mobilized to protect our nation’s capitol right now. On behalf of them, and the over 20,000 troops stationed here from across the United States, we demand Rep. Cohen apologize immediately for his reckless and blatantly disrespectful remarks.

Press Release Tue, 01/19/2021 - 18:02

Soil & Water district 2021 brochure available now, order tree and shrub seedlings and more by March 10

Submitted by Billie Owens on Tue, 01/19/2021 - 17:17

The Genesee County Soil & Water Conservation District invites you to buy tree and shrub seedlings offered in its new 2021 brochure (PDF).

Conservation supplies are also available for sale.

All plants are sold for conservation purposes.

If you'd like some eye-popping visual appeal -- vivid color, you might like to try a species new in the district program this year -- the scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea). In the fall, its leaves are a real nice brilliant red, says District Manager Brad Mudrzynski. The acorn-producing scarlet oak makes a great shade tree.

Also new here this year are cover crop mix seed packets for small gardens -- up to 2,500 square feet. The ground-cover mix, which costs $5.50 per package, helps prevent erosion and holds nutrients like organic compost materials well in the soil.

Orders are filled on a first come, first serve basis. The district reserves the right to substitute species or refund payment if a choice of yours is unavailable.

Cash or check only accepted, checks should be payable to GCSWCD. Orders are due by March 10 on completed order forms (PDF) (Print out, fill in).

Pickup dates are typically between mid to late April and information will be sent after April 1.

For assistance, call the GCSWCD at (585) 343-2362, ext. 5, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

County reports 168 new positive COVID cases over weekend, 220 recoveries, 199 active cases

Submitted by Press Release on Tue, 01/19/2021 - 16:43

Data Update:

o   Genesee County received 168 new positive cases of COVID-19.

  • The new positive cases reside in the:
    • West Region (Alabama, Darien, Pembroke)
    • Central Region (Alexander, Batavia, Bethany, Elba, Oakfield)
    • East Region (Bergen, Byron, Le Roy, Pavilion, Stafford)
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s.
  • Correction: The following cases were double-counted and have been retracted from today’s total number of positive cases; A case in his/her 20s from Batavia, a case in his/her 50s from Le Roy, and a case in his/her 80s from Batavia.
  • Two hundred and 20 of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation list. 
  • Correction: 14 recoveries have been retracted from today’s number as these individuals are nursing home residents. Persons reported recovered are community members only.
  • Eleven of the positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • Two of the new cases are inmates at the Buffalo Federal Detention Center.
  • Correction: Three cases previously reported are residents at LeRoy Village Green.

 

  • Orleans County received 56 new positive cases of COVID-19 from Friday afternoon through Tuesday morning. 
  • The positive cases reside in the:
    • West Region (Yates, Ridgeway, Shelby)
    • Central Region (Carlton, Gaines, Albion, Barre)
    • East Region (Kendall, Murray, Clarendon)
  • The individuals are in their 0-19s, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.
  • Three of the new positive individuals were on quarantine prior to testing positive.
  • One hundred and 47 of the previous positive individuals have recovered and have been removed from the isolation.
  • Eighteen of the current positive individuals are hospitalized.
  • Three of the new positive cases are residents of Orchard Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
  • Two of the new positive cases are inmates at the Albion Correctional Facility.
  • One of the new positive cases is an inmate at the Orleans Correctional Facility.

COVID-19 related fatality data: The Health Departments are only able to report the number of COVID-related deaths that are provided to us by the hospitals, nursing homes and family members. The hospitals and nursing homes are not required to report these deaths to the local health departments, but have been as they are able. Due to the number of cases over the last 10 months data hasn’t been provided locally on a regular basis.

We do not have real-time fatality data provided by the NYS Department of Health which receives the data from death certificates, hospital and nursing home reporting. NYSDOH recently updated their COVID-19 related fatalities which has resulted in a significant increase for Genesee County as we previously reported. The State updates the data as they receive it and can be seen here.

The counties will continue to report the COVID-related fatalities as we receive them locally in the narrative and update the fatality total number of deaths on a weekly basis only. Today’s data reflects that reconciliation with the State data.

Postal carrier suffers minor injuries when van goes into ditch in Darien

A U.S. Postal Service van went down in a ditch in Darien and the postal worker driving it has minor injuries.

The location of the accident is 9851 Alleghany Road.

Darien fire and Mercy medics are responding. A deputy in on scene.

UPDATE 4:45 p.m.: Mercy medics are going to ECMC.

Billie Owens Tue, 01/19/2021 - 16:17

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