Republicans in NY Legislature call for restarting economy in parts of state

Daily Freeman-8 months before

The state Senate Republican conference said in a statement issued Wednesday that Cuomo should "provide data within a week on which of the state’s economic regions meet [federal health] ... standards to restart business" amid the coronavirus pandemic.

...esc&k=coronavirus">coronavirus The Senate GOP statement included Sen. Sue Serino, R-Hyde Park, expressing support for the position. And Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, issued a similar statement on his own.

Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schoharie, meanwhile, issued a statement calling for a "regional restart" in some areas of New York.

Seward, who tested positive for the virus in March and at one point was on a ventilator, said: “As New York state prepares to come back from this pandemic, we need to balance smart health policies that adhere to CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines with help for our small businesses and so many individuals that have been sacrificing for the good of all.

“A commonsense regional approach, carefully considering health statistics, should be utilized as we turn the corner and reopen our economy," said Seward, who is not seeking re-election this fall. "We can and should keep public health at the forefront as New York makes informed decisions during this crucial period. However, we need to start taking steps to bring businesses back online in a safe manner.”

Serino was quoted in the Senate Republican conference statement as saying: “Maintaining public health needs to be our top priority, but my office is being inundated with calls from desperate residents — employers and employees — who are watching their life savings dry up, and they deserve a plan of action.

"Local community stakeholders and public health experts, not government bureaucrats, need to have a voice in the process in establishing a reopening plan that works for the Hudson Valley," Serino said. "Our neighbors have made tremendous sacrifices to promote public health, but they need to know that a plan is in the works that will effectively move our community forward as soon as the time is right."

The Senate Republican conference statement said only 7 percent of coronavirus hospitalizations statewide are in areas outside of New York City and its suburbs and that "the governor’s regional assessments should consider cities separately from less-dense populations within economic regions."

Tague said in a statement issued Tuesday that business should be allowed to reopen in regions where "a determination is made it would be safe to do so, and strict health and safety guidelines would be required to be followed...."

“Reopening our upstate economy isn’t about shareholders or profits,” Tague said. “It’s about sustaining a way of life that has sustained our communities since before the Revolution. Our farmers, small businesses, tourist hot spots and local restaurants are what make our upstate communities so special. To see them forced to die out when they could be highlighting our unique way of life would be a tragedy. We cannot allow a one-size-fits-all approach to this crisis. It’s destroying the livelihoods of our families, and we must be smart about doing what we can to help our communities survive.”

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