After Touring So. Tier DRI Projects, Hochul Pushes For Continued Funding

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TOMPKINS COUNTY, NY (WSKG) – New York Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul visited Owego, Watkins Glen and Norwich in recent days to see the progress of economic development projects funding by the state Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI).

Hochul said money spent on DRI projects will help the state’s economic recovery from the pandemic and not increase the deficit.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul (left) walks with Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin (right) on tour of the city’s revitalization in 2019 (Gabe Altieri/WSKG Public Media)

“They need to continue because the money for those has already been allocated which is important, but also those are supporting downtowns and small businesses and jobs,” Hochul said.

She also said even though it’s up to the state legislature to continue to support future allocations, the real solution to New York’s fiscal problems created by the pandemic require aid from the federal government.

Hochul called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) along with Senate Republicans to pass a new COVID stimulus package.

“A lot of this hinges on whether or not the federal government will do what we’ve asked them to do all along which is to make sure we have funding for all kinds of projects not just economic development,” Hochul said.

It’s not just funding for economic development projects like the DRI that are important. She added that Congress needs to act to also provide support for education, healthcare workers, and to cover a robust vaccination distribution plan.

Hochul said she’s confident the supermajority held by Democrats in the  state senate will continue to support economic development like that in the DRI.

The supermajority means that Democrats in the state senate have enough votes to override a veto by the governor.