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New York advocates push for money to be budgeted for workers excluded in pandemic aid fund

The New York state Capitol building in Albany.
Hans Pennink
Associated Press
The New York state Capitol building in Albany

Advocates in New York are calling on the state Legislature to include financial aid for workers who did not qualify for federal pandemic relief in the next state budget. 

With the April 1 deadline for the state budget quickly approaching, a campaign is mounting for a replenishment of the excluded workers fund.

Last year’s $2 billion fund provided relief to people who couldn’t receive federal assistance during the pandemic, many of which were undocumented workers.

This year, none of the competing spending proposals from the state Assembly and Senate have money set aside. Advocates are calling for at least $3 billion in funding.

Polls show the majority of New Yorkers support financial aid for these workers in some capacity.

Governor Kathy Hochul’s budget proposal included an unallocated pool of money that could be used where needed, including support for struggling tenants.

Sabrina is host and producer of WSHU’s daily podcast After All Things. She also produces the climate podcast Higher Ground and other long-form news and music programs at the station. Sabrina spent two years as a WSHU fellow, working as a reporter and assisting with production of The Full Story.