54 New COVID Cases in Steuben As Death Toll Hits 110
One more death and 54 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Steuben County. The death involves a 74-year-old man from Rathbone. The death toll in the county has now reached 110. The latest infections have been reported at numerous hospitals and health facilities as well as schools.
First COVID Vaccine Awaiting FDA Approval
The FDA may approve the first COVID-19 vaccine today and Governor Andrew Cuomo says the state will be ready. New York state will receive 170-thousand doses in the first batch, and Cuomo says the most vulnerable will receive it first while the state will launch an aggressive public education program he hopes will convince those skeptic of the vaccine to get inoculated. Roughly 75 percent of the population needs to get vaccinated in order for the COVID-19 pandemic to come to an end.
Reed Announces Passage of HOSPICE Act & ALS Disability Bill
Congressman Tom Reed says he has spearheaded the passage of the ALS Disability Insurance Access Act of 2019 and the HOSPICE Act. The ALS Act would waive the five-month Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) waiting period for individuals with ALS, while the HOSPICE Act would increase transparency and oversight into hospice providers. Both bills passed unanimously.
Cuomo Calls for $15 Billion in Stimulus Funding to New York
In a letter sent to Congress, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo and other state officials called on New York’s Congressional delegation to provide enough funding in the next federal stimulus package to avoid tax increases and layoffs. Cuomo said at yesterday’s briefing that New York State paid the greatest price in the nation for COVID-19 and if New York State does not get federal funding, then the consequences will be "devastating." The letter says New York needs $15 billion in order to avoid tax increases and layoffs of essential workers and calls for funding in the next stimulus to be allocated based on each state’s needs. Congress is considering a short-term federal funding measure of about $908 billion in COVID-19 relief.
O’Mara Joins GOP Leaders Call for a Pause on Minimum Wage
State Senator Tom O’Mara Wednesday joined Senate Republican colleagues to call on Governor Andrew Cuomo to temporarily pause a minimum wage increase scheduled to take effect on December 31. The wage is set to increase from $11.80 to $12.50 per hour across this region. In a press statement, O’Mara and his colleagues stressed that thousands of small and medium-sized businesses throughout New York have barely survived the current COVID-19 economic shutdowns and a wage increase now would lead to more lost businesses, more job losses, and fewer economic opportunities for workers.
NY Farm Bureau Re-Elects Fisher as President
New York Farm Bureau delegates unanimously re-elected David Fisher, a dairy farmer from Madrid, NY, to his third two-year term as president of the state’s largest farm organization. In addition, delegates re-elected district representatives to the State Board of Directors to include another two-year term for Patrick McCormick of Wyoming County.