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Common Council urges federal help; Republicans opposing municipality aid

Buffalo needs federal assistance to stave off future budget cuts due to Covid-19, the Common Council said in a letter to Western New York's congressional delegation Saturday.

"Buffalo’s need for federal funding is critical and urgent,” said South Council Member Christopher Scanlon.

The letter backs up calls by Mayor Byron W. Brown to include $250 billion in direct support to local governments in stimulus legislation now being considered.

Cities with populations under 500,000 are currently ineligible for federal stimulus funds earmarked for municipalities, leaving small and mid-sized cities such as Buffalo out in the cold.

Buffalo has lost millions of dollars in revenue over the past several weeks while continuing city services without interruption.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are pushing a plan with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that would allocate $24.5 billion to New York State to boost state and local governments, hospitals and small businesses. Buffalo would receive over $142 million. Republicans have sought to limit the scope to small business funds.

 

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