As the federal government shutdown drags into its fourth week, its important to recognize that approximately 14,000 federal employees in New York State work for departments affected by the shutdown. For anyone living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to care for their families, this loss of income and uncertainty is devastating. Furthermore, because these workers are not able to spend money at the local businesses here in northern Manhattan, the shutdown continues to hurt the local economy. Hardworking public employees dont deserve to be punished for the federal government shutdown. Especially, they should not be held hostage as President Trump continues to keep the government closed because he hasnt received funding for his outrageously expensive and completely pointless border wall.
My Assembly colleagues and I passed legislation allowing local governments to extend the property tax payment deadline for affected federal employees, with no penalties or interest, until 90 days after the shutdown ends (A.881). It is the fair and just thing to do for workers who are unfairly suffering under the Trump administrations decision to prolong the federal shutdown.
The Assembly Majority cannot reopen the federal government, but we can help the people affected by the shutdown. New Yorks federal employees work hard for us and they need to start receiving their paychecks again. Until then, we will be there to help them through this difficult time.