Cuomo: Show Me The Money On Sandy Aid
Gov. Andrew Cuomo found his inner Jerry Maguire earlier today, saying he’s going to withhold judgment on the decision to move forward with a vote on federal disaster aid until the cash is in hand.
“I’ve had many conversations with the speaker, the majority leader, all sorts of Congressional members for weeks now. I’m at the point where it’s simple for me,” Cuomo told reporters. “Show me the money, because I’ve heard a lot of things and until I see the cash I’m going to reserve judgment because many of the things that have been said never happened. So now they’ll see well, the votes going to happen in two weeks, I was told the vote was going to happen in about 20 minutes and it didn’t happen. I’m going to wait for the actual results before I comment.”
The comments came at a meeting of Cuomo’s emergency preparedness and response commission this afternoon and a day after House Speaker John Boehner faced withering criticism from both Republicans and Democrats over declining to hold a vote. Ultimately he relented, announcing there would be a vote on Jan. 15.
Cuomo also hinted at the meeting today that there would elements of the recommendations from the twin commissions included in his State of the State address, due to be given on Wednesday at the Empire State Plaza in Albany. The proposals include a unified training system for first responders, with training being conducted on SUNY and CUNY facilities. In addition, the panels recommended stockpiling response equipment, as well as a strategic fuel reserve in order to deal with shortages.
Cuomo also indicated during a question-and-answer session that he would propose a plan that would have emergency power at gasoline stations in order to avoid the lengthy lines seen in the wake of Sandy. The proposal would likely seek to avoid passing the cost onto the driver as a mandate on private business, but it’s unclear what resources could be set aside for the move.
In the immediate aftermath of the storm and in the weeks after, Cuomo pointed to what he says are extreme weather events brought on by climate change and the need to rework the state’s infrastructure in order to handle future events.
During the Q and A, a reporter noted that the state already has disaster commissions set in law and asked why those weren’t engaged in the aftermath of storms Irene and Lee, which hit the upstate region.
“Over the past two year’s we’ve brought tremendous reforms to this area,” Cuomo said. ”You can’t be out there in the middle of a situation like this and not feel it throughout your entire body and not revisit when you put your head on the pillow for months to come and I take this very seriously.”
It’s unclear what the final cost for the recommendations will be and a final report from the commissions, including one from a panel convened to look at the long-term effects of extreme weather events, will be released later this year.
“We haven’t done any financial analysis, but it’s going to be very, very expensive,” Cuomo said.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on January 3, 2013 at 2:47 pm, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|
Comments are closed.