“As it is currently written, this legislation is so deeply flawed, I had no alternative other than to vote no. This legislation will cause further financial damage by denying revenue to property owners without even requiring a tenant to provide some kind of proof of financial difficulty. There is no means testing or effort made to identify those truly suffering hardship. In addition, it further punishes so many small business owners who may themselves lose their property and livelihoods from the loss of critically needed revenue.
“In today’s session, the Senate Republican conference put forth an amendment adding sensible provisions to this legislation, including requiring a tenant to meet a hardship income threshold, similar to what is in place in California; requiring a tenant to make smaller rent payments each month; and for tenants to submit proof that they have applied for federal and/or state pandemic relief so that those suffering true hardship can be helped. This balanced approach, which does not harm one group to benefit another, was quickly rejected in favor of the politically motived and unfair bill that passed.
“The Governor and the Democratic majority in the Legislature have failed to provide any support for our struggling small businesses and the families they support. So many property owners across the state are struggling. This legislation will devastate them. Where is the relief for small business owners? Why not do as other states have done and hold harmless business for the coming massive increases in unemployment insurance costs?
“The bottom line is the real solution is to get our economy safely and fairly back up and running. The solution is to get people back to work and the Legislsture has failed to do anything to advance that solution. Today’s tenant-assistance legislation is an imperfect Band-Aid on a much more serious and fatal wound. We must limit the Governor’s emergency powers, which he has used to unfairly close businesses and drive more people from our state, all without flattening the curve.
“None of these Band-Aids will be enough until we can re-open New York for business.”