ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rep. Tom Reed Sen. Rich Funke and other state officials met on Tuesday and said they are celebrating the reopening of the area.
“As we go forward on this journey our goal is to continue to build up that collaboration and agreement and cooperation and to continue opening up in the additional phases that we have in front of us,” Reed said. “We make sure that the regions meet those metrics to stay open that is the fundamental goal moving forward.”
On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that Rochester and the Finger Lakes region has met all seven of the requirements to begin phase one of reopening on Friday, when the NY PAUSE mandate expires.
“This is a public health crisis at its heart. So we should treat it in that fashion as we go forward what that means to me is that we need flexibility and be able to have dynamic response to the issue.”
Sen. Rich Funke was also in attendance and said people are excited to get back to work and said the reopening is a reason to celebrate. “We have a better appreciation through this experience the past couple months about what other people do in their lives and how important they are to the fabric of society.”
The press conference was held at Alliance Precision Plastics and Funke said while continuing its operations through the whole pandemic, the businesses adjusted with social distancing protocols and haven’t had any cases of COVID-19. He encouraged those who are able to open up Friday, to do it safely and said it can be done.
Funke said he would like to see “a little more common sense” when it comes to reopening. “I don’t see a big difference between Home Depot and Bed Bath and & Beyond. I don’t see a big difference between Wegmans and Kholes so people should be able to get their shops up and running.”
“For people who have lost loved ones, the state didn’t do enough, for people who have lost jobs and business, the state overreacted.”
Funke said it’s time to take some of the powers away from the governor. Senator Pam Helming agreed and said she introduced legislation to repeal the governor’s executive powers. “It allows the $40 million to remain to be used for COVID-19 related issued but it does reign in that power.”
Reed said in order to help relieve the financial burden, money has to come directly from the federal government, to local governments. “It is clear to me that the impact on the community across the country are a direct result of the revenue loss in association with the shutdown orders so what were trying to do is recognize that you’re going to have to take care of local government with direct assistance from federal government.
“That $150 billion — it was clear that it was for the state to share that resources with local government and that did not happen in New York though it did happen in other states.”
Reed said opening up now is not premature and can be done safely. With many people struggling to get unemployment pay because of the backlog of files the state is dealing with, the officials said that the only thing that will truly help the economy, is getting people back to work.