County Executive Vows Protection of County Residents, Veterans.
Mineola, NY - January 22, 2019 - As the shutdown of the federal government reaches an unprecedented 33 days, County Executive Laura Curran today pledged her support to those residents affected. Curran has ordered a complete review of County departments as the shutdown continues and is particularly focused on the effects of the shutdown on Nassau County’s veteran, federal employee and in-need populations.
Today, County Executive Curran joined Congresswoman Kathleen Rice, State Assemblywoman Taylor Raynor, Randi Dresner, CEO of Island Harvest and Paul Pachter, CEO of LI Cares to discuss the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the long term affects of the shutdown on the many Long Islanders who rely on it. While February SNAP benefits will be available to recipients by the end of January, an extended federal shutdown would affect many needy residents and families going into March.
“With thousands of families, residents and veterans dependent on essential government programs, I’ve asked our department heads to do a complete review of what the long term ramifications of a federal shutdown mean to Nassau County. Leaders such as Randi Dresner and Paul Pachter have dedicated their lives to helping others in need. We must listen to their call to help others during this government shutdown.,” said Curran. “I will work tirelessly to protect our most vulnerable as the President’s demand for a wall threatens daily lives.”
“Approximately 800,000 federal employees across this country, including more than 14,000 Long Islanders, have now gone an entire month without pay. That is unacceptable. These hardworking families are struggling to pay rent, buy groceries and put gas in their car,” said Rice. “They deserve better and we need to continue doing everything we can to support our neighbors who have been affected by this shutdown. Enough is enough, it’s time for the Senate to vote on one of the many bipartisan funding bills that already passed in the House so we can finally reopen the government.”
It is estimated that the local Long Island economy could be losing as much as $28 million per week in lost wages to federal employees, such as Air Traffic Controllers stationed in Westbury. In addition, members of the United States Coast Guard will not be paid during the shutdown although they will continue to operate daily and programs involving United States Army Reservists and Reserve Duty members have been cancelled with no pay being provided.
“Our veterans and military families have sacrificed for us time and again. We must stand with
them and provide the support they need and more importantly, deserve. I will continue to work with our Veterans Services Agency and our federal partners to monitor veterans’ programs and benefits, and do everything we can here at the County level to protect the members, past and present, of our armed forces,” said Curran
County Executive Curran has joined elected officials, community leaders and others in supporting local food drives for federal employees affected by the shutdown. These drives and working with groups like Island Harvest and LI Cares will keep families who aren’t receiving a federal paycheck with food and other necessary items.
“Long Island’s high cost of living presents numerous challenges to hardworking families struggling to make ends meet,” said Dresner. “Trying to keep up with mortgages, loan payments, paying for medicine, and putting food on the table creates an additional burden for federal employees who are working without a paycheck. Collaborating with our corporate and local government partners, we’re helping to ease those burdens. The food bank will be providing supplemental food support, along with assistance in applying for SNAP benefits. It’s important for those impacted by the shutdown to know that there’s no shame in asking for help and we want to reassure people facing a potential crisis that Island Harvest Food Bank, along with our community partners, can be the helping hand they need.”