Poloncarz Speaks on Importance of Federal $ to Communities

Erie County Executive calls money vital to helping with county programs

Tom Puckett
January 15, 2020 - 2:36 pm
Mark Poloncarz

(WBEN Photo/Brendan Keany)


Washington, DC (WBEN) Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz testified before a House Budget Committee Wednesday morning on the importance of federal investments to local communities.

Poloncarz says federal assistance has been vital in one local health crisis. "The Justice Department considers Erie County a model county in how to respond to the opioid crisis. However, we would not be in that position if we did not receive that significant financial assistance from the federal government," says Poloncarz.

Poloncarz says he's closely monitored every budget proposal from the Trump administration. "We've determined many of the proposals would have a disastrous impact locally. New York, which already has a multi billion dollar shortfall from Medicaid, would be severely punished by the block grant cuts proposed by the president. If implemented, we would be forced to raise taxes or make cuts to popular systems like trees and parks," notes Poloncarz. Poloncarz says those grants which require a local match, support a variety of projects throughout the county.

Poloncarz says federal dollars used to play an important role in projects annually. "With no major federal infrastructure bills, we've been only able to complete several projects. So I strongly support (Congressman Brian) Higgins' bill that would provide a major investment in our roads, create good paying middle class jobs we desperately need in case of future recessions," says Poloncarz.

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