The hardship from our weeks of quarantine with COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc on our local economy. We hear about the “V” recovery, the dreaded “W” from virus reinfection rates shutting us down again, and a repeat of the 2008 long “L” recovery. The economists have an alphabet soup but no crystal ball.
While Nassau County progresses through the various stages of reopening and begins to rebuild consumer confidence to ensure a safe return to some semblance of normalcy, the federal government can and should step up to help us. The Heroes Act passed by the House of Representatives puts forth comprehensive funding packages that all state and local governments, residents and taxpayers need. It provides state and local fiscal relief, an increase in Medicaid funding, additional disproportionate share payments to hospitals such as Nassau University Medical Center, and extension of unemployment benefits. Each bucket of funding is essential.
But it sits without action in the U.S. Senate. Without the revenue recovery dollars from the Heroes Act, Nassau County faces drastic budget balancing actions for the second half of this year and 2021: shutting down some services, reducing others and borrowing for operating expenses. These are all terrible options. Without federal government relief, vital services will face harmful reductions. The alarm bells are ringing loudly for state and local governments.
We call on the federal government to act now. We listened and stayed indoors when national and state emergencies were declared. Please hear us now.
Editor’s note: The writer is Nassau County executive.
Voting by mail is safe alternative
For those complaining about voting by mail, you have the right to vote early in person or at your polling place on Election Day [“Voting by mail getting big test,” LI Life, June 7]. There is a clear difference between being outside and inside with the coronavirus still around. Many poll workers are elderly and could be endangered by many people coming in to vote. Having another safe option, voting by mail, doesn’t take away anyone’s rights. It gives people a better chance to vote safely.