Ra Calls for Clarity in Light of Changes to Non-Citizen Eligibility for Safety Net Assistance, Urges Passage of Transparency Bill

Following the recent media attention on the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance’s General Information System (GIS) Memo, which changed Safety Net Assistance (SNA) eligibility for non-citizens, Assemblyman Ed Ra (R-Franklin Square) is seeking clarification on the recent changes in eligibility and reigniting the call for the passage of his transparency bill (A.7508). The bill would require the governor to submit a report to the Legislature every 30 days detailing how state and federal funds are being spent on humanitarian aid for migrants and require the comptroller to audit those funds every 30 days.

The GIS memo informed social services districts that certain non-citizens, including applicants for asylum and applicants for temporary protected status, would now be eligible for SNA as non-citizens recognized as Permanently Residing Under Color of Law (PRUCOL).

“It is crucial we ensure transparency in the allocation and utilization of taxpayer dollars, especially when it comes to providing assistance to non-citizen individuals. Recent changes in eligibility criteria raise important questions about how funds are being allocated and spent,” Ra said. “My letter to Gov. Hochul and Acting Commissioner Guinn addresses concerns about the $160 million allocated for SNA for asylum seekers in the FY25 Executive Budget Financial Plan, with $67 million designated for FY25 alone.”

“The public has a right to know how their hard-earned money is being spent. There is no room for ambiguity here when hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers’ needs are not being met. The people who were born here, work here day in and day out, fight for this country, own business throughout our state and contribute to making it the place we know and love demand a government that is accountable and transparent in its actions.”