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Cuomo still waiting for federal action before closing state's deficit

Office of the Governor
Gov. Andrew Cuomo readies for a briefing Thursday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is responding to critics who say the state needs to make decisions on how to close its COVID-19-related multibillion-dollar deficit. He said the federal government needs to provide relief, because it was the not the state’s fault.

Cuomo continues to blame what he says is the federal government’s mishandling of the coronavirus for New York’s deficit. The shortfall is largely a result of the economic shutdown to control the spread of the virus. He says he’s not ready to impose what he says would be devastating cuts, service reductions, new taxes and borrowing, saying it’s Washington that is “liable.”

“New York State is not liable,” Cuomo said. “If we were not in this governmental structure, I would sue the federal government for gross negligence.”

Cuomo is still holding out for congressional action after the November elections or for a new President, if Democratic candidate Joe Biden wins, to act.

On Wednesday, five government reform groups including Citizens Budget Commission, Reinvent Albany, and Common Cause, wrote a letter to Cuomo urging him to outline concrete steps to close what they estimate is a $9 billion deficit.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. WBFO listeners are accustomed to hearing DeWitt’s insightful coverage throughout the day, including expanded reports on Morning Edition.
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