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N.Y. Republicans Push For Restaurant Relief

The New York Capitol Building in Albany
Pete Dzintars
The New York Capitol Building in Albany

Republican senators in New York have called on the Democrats in the majority to advance a package of legislation to help restore the state’s restaurant and hospitality industries.

The announcement comes days before Governor Andrew Cuomo releases his plan to reopen indoor dining in New York City after a months-long hiatus. Cuomo said his plan will likely inform the rest of the state.

Freshman Long Island Senator Mario Mattera said the Legislature needs to be involved in providing relief, and leave businesses to recover from the pandemic.

“They know how to have their tables spread. They know how to enforce to make sure they stay open because they don’t want to be fined. Imagine sitting there and you have to worry about being fined. That someone coming in from the [New York State Liquor Authority]; somebody was going to find their business and they’re going to be shut down,” Mattera said.

Mattera sponsored a bill that would allow New Yorkers to contribute to a business relief fund through a tax checkoff program.

Republicans say measures like this will provide direct coronavirus relief. They say they cannot rely on only Cuomo’s executive orders.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.