A Column by Assemblyman Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Victor)
ALBANY, NY — April 25, 2020 — Over the years, our Assembly Republican Conference has consistently warned against one-size-fits-all solutions for New York State, one of the most regionally diverse in the union. What works for the residents in Manhattan doesn’t necessarily work for us. It’s been true of countless economic issues before, and I believe that it’s true when it comes to dealing with the economic crisis our families are facing now.
This week, our Conference unveiled a plan to lift emergency economic restrictions on a regional basis. Our New York State “Regional Restart” initiative would bring together a bipartisan panel of private sector leaders and public health officials to develop a comprehensive plan to safely and gradually get more and more people back to work.
This week, the Empire Center released a report detailing the disproportionate toll the crisis has taken on downstate New York. 97% of Covid-19 fatalities were recorded in the five boroughs, on Long Island or in the suburbs immediately north of New York City. According to their report, upstate has only recorded 1.5 infections per 1,000 residents.
If the goal of the “New York State on PAUSE” Act was to prevent the spread of the virus from overwhelming the emergency capacity of our healthcare system, it seems as though we achieved that in our region. In fact, the Empire Center tells us that “many upstate hospitals have been furloughing employees for lack of business or revenue.”
Let me be clear, we still need to be vigilant about this virus. I’m pleased that President Trump and Gov. Cuomo had productive discussions about expanding testing, and I know that getting back to work means listening to the guidance of public health officials. But we need to begin that process now. Our families and our communities depend on it.
What do you think? I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook.
SOURCE: Daniel LaFave | Communications | NYS Assemblyman Brian M. Kolb