Gov Cuomo Is Creating Two New Task Force Groups – O’Mara Has Questions About One Of Them

April 21, 2020

Governor Andrew Cuomo wants the federal government to help out with paying essential employees. “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo called on the federal government to provide hazard pay for essential public workers on the front lines, proposing a 50 percent bonus for these workers,” said the governor’s spokesperson today. “According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, 41 percent of frontline workers are people of color. Of those frontline workers, 45 percent of public transit workers, 57 percent of building cleaning service workers and 40 percent of healthcare workers are people of color. People of color are also disproportionately represented in delivery and childcare services, and approximately one third of frontline workers are members of low-income households.”

The governor is also creating two new task force groups, one for pregnant mothers and one for rebuilding the economy.

The COVID-19 Maternity Task Force:

Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa and the New York State Council on Women and Girls today announced the creation of a COVID-19 maternity task force to examine the best approach to authorizing and certifying additional dedicated birthing centers in an effort to provide mothers a safe alternative to already stressed hospitals amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The task force will make recommendations to Governor Cuomo by the end of the week. Additionally, the task force will work with Regional Perinatal Centers to review literature and make recommendations on the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy. “This pandemic strained our hospital system in a way no one could have ever imagined, and while New York leads in ensuring laboring mothers were able to have a healthy partner, friend or family member with them during childbirth we can and should explore additional ways to make the experience less stressful,” Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to the Governor and Chair of the New York State Council on Women and Girls, said. “Birth centers can serve as a safe alternative for low-risk pregnancies — relieving the strain on hospitals and providing a supportive environment for mothers during an already stressful time. I look forward to working with Christy and this diverse task force to develop recommendations for the Governor to review as quickly as possible.”

The Task Force To Rebuild The Economy:
“Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today called on the federal government to provide hazard pay for essential public workers on the front lines, proposing a 50 percent bonus for these workers. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, 41 percent of frontline workers are people of color. Of those frontline workers, 45 percent of public transit workers, 57 percent of building cleaning service workers and 40 percent of healthcare workers are people of color. People of color are also disproportionately represented in delivery and childcare services, and approximately one third of frontline workers are members of low-income households.

State Senator Tom O’Mara says the task force to rebuild the economy, ignores upstate:
State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C,I-Big Flats) urged the governor to include the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and all of Upstate New York, in the planned restructuring of New York government. O’Mara said, “I encourage the governor to keep looking ahead and recognizing that a restructuring of New York State government is at hand, because I’ve recently called for that very same post COVID-19 future for New York government. But it baffles me why Governor Cuomo would only include downstate New York? Upstate New York also deserves better public transportation, better housing, better public safety, better health care, better technology and all of the other areas the governor highlighted today for the future of downstate New York. Believe me, from high taxes to unfunded state mandates, Upstate New York deserves and needs to be fully included in this ‘reimagining’ of state government. This restructuring is long overdue. Clearly, we will need to keep reminding the Governor and the downstate-controlled State Legislature that Upstate’s still here and there’s a few things we can imagine too. I look forward to helping make sure we will not be forgotten moving forward.”