Democratic legislators in Dutchess County call for local rescue
Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, whose House district includes the Highlands, predicted on Monday (March 15) that the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan would “end the pandemic” and “save the economy.”
During an appearance on MSNBC, the Democrat cited the legislation’s effect on a hypothetical Putnam County family that includes two young children.
“Maybe they have a small business,” earn $70,000 to $75,000 annually and have health insurance through the federal Affordable Care Act, said Maloney, who lives in Philipstown. The direct cash payments for adults, the tax credit for children and a reduction in health care costs could mean they will receive about $15,000 in benefits, he said, or 20 percent of their annual household income.
He also said that in his district small-business loans during the pandemic have kept “11,000 businesses [open] and 100,000 people employed.”
According to the New York State Association of Counties, the relief plan includes $3.8 billion for New York, including $57.5 million for Dutchess, $19.2 million for Putnam, $189.1 million for Westchester, $75.2 million for Orange, and $63.7 million for Rockland. The counties will receive the money in two payments, the first within 60 days and the remainder next year.
Maloney contended on Monday that Republicans in Congress, all of whom voted against the package, had “no plan, no empathy.”
However, he contrasted the “new, radical Republicans in Washington” with GOP leaders in the Hudson Valley. “In my district, all the county executives are basically Republicans; all the town supervisors are Republicans; a bunch of mayors are Republicans,” he said. “They all stood with me celebrating the American Rescue Plan.”
On Tuesday (March 16), the Democratic caucus in the Dutchess County Legislature called for the creation of a Dutchess Rescue Plan to expand COVID-19 vaccinations through mobile clinics; restore cuts to the health department and family services budget; create a strategy “to address soaring rents” and eviction risks; extend broadband access; and release data on the impact of the pandemic on municipalities and demographic groups.