Lindsey Boylan’s Plan to Ease the Economic Burden During State of Emergency
New York, NY — Lindsey Boylan, Democratic candidate for Congress in NY-10, released a plan in response to the COVID-19 outbreak to ease the economic burden facing New Yorkers.
In times of crisis, we need strong leaders we can trust to get us the information and resources we need to keep everyone safe and restore livelihood as quickly as possible. Ms. Boylan has been stress-tested as a proven leader in times of crisis.
As Deputy Secretary of Economic Development for the state of New York, and Special Advisor to Governor Cuomo, Boylan oversaw the Office of Storm Recovery. She led a SWAT team to help Puerto Rico assess the damage from Hurricane Maria in order to make an accurate federal aid request, oversaw the rebuilding of homes with unions, worked with mental health experts on an action plan to expand trauma support across the island, and deployed SUNY and CUNY volunteers to clean, restore and rebuild damaged homes.
She also helped pass policies to protect New Yorkers in preparation for future disasters like Paid Family Leave and the Small Business Recovery program which provided small businesses upwards of $50,000.00 in grants to make sure they could survive emergencies like Superstorm Sandy.
“In times of crisis, you need a dual approach. One to ensure health and safety and another to deal with the economic aftermath which impacts people for years,” said Ms.Boylan. “When a crisis hits, our economy comes to a halt. Far too many people don’t have access to work-sponsored benefits like healthcare, work from home, and paid family leave. How we show leadership to support those that will go without a paycheck and benefits in the short term will determine how our communities recover once the crisis is over.”
To protect the economy through this public health crisis, Ms. Boylan has called for policies that would ease the economic burden on New Yorkers.
Get money into pockets
We need money in people’s pockets now before we repeat the financial crisis, or worse. The coronavirus outbreak has caused layoffs across the city because people can’t get to work or to the stores. This public crisis even crashed New York’s unemployment site. Large corporations reinvest Trump’s tax cuts in their own business and executives, shutting out the rest of the workforce — the ones who need it most. This extreme inequality is exacerbated in emergency situations.
- Provide immediate cash payments of $2000 plus $500 per dependent to alleviate the economic impact on the most vulnerable Americans.
- Increase unemployment benefits immediately from 50% to 100% of past wages across the board to keep money flowing through the economy. In past recessions, benefits have been extended but not increased, which perpetuates a lag in spending for months.
- Eliminate the bureaucratic barriers in government assistance programs. The last thing people should worry about in a crisis is making sure that they have the right form. Crucial programs like housing vouchers, SNAP, Medicaid, etc. should all waive complex paperwork requirements for the duration of the crisis.
- Increase the federal matching rate for Medicaid to guarantee the health care system has enough resources to help people obtain the medical care they might otherwise avoid because they can’t afford it.
Give small businesses a safety net for market mishaps
Small businesses are the foundation of our community and account for almost 65% of new jobs created in the US. The current administration has directed the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide ‘disaster assistance loans’ for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. But this will push small companies further into debt.
- Develop business continuity grants under the SBA to extend to underserved communities, similar to those provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for unanticipated losses and major disruptions due to weather disasters, public health crises, transportation disruptions, etc. Grants would go a lot further than low-interest loans to prevent the failure of many businesses that can’t afford more debt.
- Expand federal funds for cities to take advantage of the Community Development Block Grant program, funded out of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for small businesses that supply communities with vital necessities such as laundromats, childcare, homes services, drug stores, grocery stores, etc.
Support all caretakers and caregiving:
About 15% of people aged 25–54 spend time caring for an older relative. Twenty percent of these caregivers also have children at home. Many may have siblings with disabilities who also rely on them for care. This ‘sandwich generation’ is struggling to care for children, siblings with disabilities and parents, while working full-time. Under normal circumstances, this is not sustainable. In an emergency, it’s untenable.
- Pass a national Paid Family Leave policy that includes paid leave for these kinds of caregiving so that unexpected life events don’t mean the end of a paycheck.
- Support family caregivers with Social Security workers credits for the time they spend taking care of seniors, and tax credits for stay-at-home caretakers who are caring for ailing or aging relatives.
Sustain the MTA and other large city infrastructure
Loss of travelers is detrimental to city infrastructure, like airports and public transit. The MTA, in particular, will suffer an already bad set of circumstances on a constrained budget.
- Provide emergency bridge loans for underutilized systems like the MTA, airports and other large city infrastructure to cover short term financing issues until a larger comprehensive infrastructure bill can be passed.
“It’s times like this when we need our government most,” said Ms. Boylan, referring to COVID-19. “We must prioritize preparedness and put provisions in place for people’s well-being and livelihood.”
For more information, please visit lindseyboylan.com.