Cuomo warns of major budget cuts to schools, hospitals without federal help

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is sounding the alarm about the possibility of major funding cuts to schools and hospitals on Long Island and across the state because of the pandemic.

News 12 Staff

Apr 20, 2020, 9:16 PM

Updated 1,546 days ago

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo is sounding the alarm about the possibility of major funding cuts to schools and hospitals on Long Island and across the state because of the pandemic.
The governor said at a news conference Monday that schools, hospitals and local governments could face 20% budget cuts across the board. He says the cuts could happen if the federal government doesn't come through with funding to bail out states that are billions of dollars in the hole because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The federal government said from Day 1, 'Don't worry, we're going to provide funding for the states.' Yeah, don't worry -- but I'm worried because I've heard that over and over and over again," Cuomo said.
The Nassau Suffolk Hospital Council says local hospitals would be devastated without funding from Washington. 
"With no revenue because elective surgeries were canceled in Mid-March and expenses for supplies, equipment, and workforce mounting by the day, a 20% reduction in Medicaid reimbursement to our hospitals pours salt on an open wound," the council said in a statement. "We cannot sustain that, and certainly we cannot absorb such a massive cut while treating patients in the middle of a pandemic."
Roosevelt School District's acting Superintendent Eva Demyen says that such large funding cuts would be a devastating blow. The district relies heavily on state aid -- it accounts for 80% of its budget.
"If they were to cut us any more, we wouldn't be able to function as a school district. We wouldn't be able to give any kind of quality education to our children," she says.
Demyen says the district would face major layoffs and massive program cuts, and says it would further highlight the inequity in school districts.
She's urging the state and federal government to come up with a budget plan that doesn't decimate schools.
PHOTOS: Countries around the world cope with COVID-19
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