January 11, 2021
Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC) published its Child and Family Well-being in New York State: Ranking Risk Across 62 Counties to illustrate the depth of needs – poverty, housing insecurity, poor health, education and youth and community outcomes – families and children face throughout the State that require coordinated attention to ensure a full recovery from our current crises.
CCC assessed Governor Cuomo’s State of the State with these needs in mind and we were encouraged that the Governor’s address drew attention to key steps that must be taken to help New York families recover – with a focus on vaccine distribution, telehealth access, housing affordability, and the role of child care and child tax credits.
We strongly support ramping up vaccination efforts and ensuring they are equitably distributed among New Yorkers. These steps are critical for combatting the disproportionate impact this pandemic has had on immigrants and communities of color, and essential for helping our state recover.
We look forward to working with the Governor and State Legislature to advance these priorities, and we urge his administration and State Legislature to go farther and act in other areas critical to child and family well-being. We are hopeful that the Governor’s future scheduled addresses and the Executive Budget prioritize education, primary and behavioral health care, child welfare prevention, youth justice reform and rent subsidies among other key areas.
Counties are desperate for new education aid, community school funding, and youth service investments to address the increased costs and academic challenges of a fully remote school year and to support students who have experienced profound learning loss during the pandemic.
Finally, there is no mistake that New York’s fiscal situation is dire and greater federal stimulus is desperately needed for New York State, state counties, municipalities and residents. That said, it is also critical, as we enter the state budget and legislative session, that tax policy and revenue options are aggressively pursued. The Governor and State Legislature must prevent austerity measures that exacerbate the harm already experienced by New York’s children and families and would delay the state’s economic recovery. The priorities advanced in the coming weeks and months must put children and families front and center, their well-being and the state’s recovery demand nothing less.
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