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Senate Democrats snuck a last-minute amendment into the $1.9tn covid relief bill signed by Joe Biden this week, to ensure cash-strapped states receiving the federal funds couldn’t turn around and cut taxes, the New York Times reports.
Roughly $220bn will be distributed to states to cover costs associated with Covid, or to fund essential governmental services, but state leaders will now be unable to subsidize tax cuts through 2024.
“It is an intrusion into what would traditionally be a state prerogative of how we balance our budget,” said Ben Watkins, the director of the Florida Division of Bond Finance. “If they want to give us this money to deal with Covid, then they should just give it to us with no strings attached.”
Funding for state and local governments was one of the most contentious issues during stimulus talks, with Republicans saying Democrat-led states were being rewarded for mismanaging their finances and labeling the aid as a “blue-state bailout.”
With mounting pressure on the New York governor Andrew Cuomo to resign, the New York Times has taken a closer look at the lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul, who would take over if he relinquishes his seat – and become the first woman to serve as governor in the state.
She’s won two statewide elections with Cuomo, who chose her as his running mate in 2014, and that experience could be essential. As the Times reports, along with navigating New York’s vaccination program and a difficult economy recovery from the Covid crisis, there are also a “series of urgent legislative deliberations and responsibilities” coming up quickly on the agenda.
NEW: perhaps amid all of the news surrounding Cuomo, you are interested in learning more about Kathy Hochul, his lieutenant governor who would succeed him after a resignation/removal.
A quick look at the LG from her hometown of Buffalo: https://t.co/zw6OpLMtWB
New York congressional Dems on Cuomo:
Sean Patrick Maloney
CONSIDER WHETHER YOU CAN LEAD:
If Mr. Cuomo is removed or resigns, Ms. Hochul would become the governor. She would also serve as acting governor during an impeachment trial.
Ms. Hochul, for her part, has said little about the accusations against Mr. Cuomo other than that she supported the independent investigation underway into the claims of sexual harassment”.