Features, Finance, Municipal Government, New York

Seniors and The NYS Budget

May 26, 2020

By Eileen Moran, Professional Staff Congress Retirees Chapter

Now is the time for all working people and retirees in New York State to focus on the budget. The economic security of retirees and their families depend on a set of benefits and services provided by state and localities. Among seniors, 38.6% of  singles and 24% of couples have difficulty making ends meet.  The cost of living adjustments whether in pensions or Social Security fail to keep pace with  seniors’  actual expenses.   

Now that New York State’s budget woes have dramatically increased, the Legislature  has empowered the Governor to unilaterally cut the already approved budget (2020-2021). As state revenue declines, even more draconian cuts are likely for senior programs and many other public services we all use.   

Routinely Governor Cuomo’s austerity budgeting fails to take into account the ongoing growth of  the senior population and consistently refuses to consider any taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers. Even before the pandemic, as the state faced a $6.1 billion deficit associated primarily with Medicaid, the Governor turned to transferring increased costs to localities through property taxes and a Medicaid Redesign Team without consumer representation.  

The New York State Senior Action Council at www.nysenior.org [nysenior.org] educates about and  advocates for seniors’ programs and interests in the NYS budget.  COMRO recommends that we all educate ourselves  about the current budget and be ready to oppose any proposed cuts that will reduce the public services we all depend on, then  call and email your State Legislator and the Governor and insist that NY’s billionaires and millionaires pay their fair share during this emergency.  

The Council of Municipal Retiree Organizations’ primary purpose is the advancement of the common interests of present and future retirees of agencies of the City of New York. These interests include the protection and enhancements of pensions and health benefits and federal, state, or municipal policies or budgets that will impact retirees including cuts to the social safety net.  

May 26, 2020

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