A Column by Assemblyman Brian M. Kolb (R,C,-Victor)
VICTOR, NY — May 16, 2020 — In their first major public action since we passed the budget in early April, Democrats in the Senate and Assembly convened a virtual hearing this week for small business owners, advocacy groups and lawmakers to discuss the federal government’s economic response to the COVID-19 crisis. You’d be hard pressed to find a legislator who is more about listening to our small business community than I am, but I thought the focus of the hearing was a bit confusing.
Why wouldn’t state Democrats want to focus on the state government’s response?
If you want to change things for the better, I believe it’s more important to look in the mirror than point fingers. Since the beginning of the outbreak, our Conference hasn’t been blaming Washington. We’ve been doing the work we were elected to do. Our Small Business Emergency Recovery Act would’ve used the state’s $890 million settlement reserve fund to distribute needed capital to small businesses. It would’ve offered zero interest recovery loans, repurposed all existing development tax credits specifically for small businesses and delivered real regulatory relief.
Our Conference sent a letter to President Trump on behalf of New York’s farmers. The administration responded by granting our request that they extend the H2-Visa program for farmworkers. We also sought federal reimbursement for lost agricultural revenues. The administration responded by creating the $19 billion Coronavirus Food Assistance program, $16 billion of which is earmarked for “direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers.”
SOURCE: Daniel LaFave | Communications | NYS Assemblyman Brian M. Kolb