Assemblywoman Buttenschon Calls on the State to Use CARES Act Funding to Support Health Care Workers

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D, I-Utica/Rome) has sent a letter to the governor requesting that the state’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding be used to support health care staffing. Buttenschon was joined by a bipartisan group of Assembly colleagues around the state in sending this letter.

“With COVID-19 on the rise, one of the most critical ways we can help ensure this second wave of cases is less severe than the first is by supporting staff in our health care facilities at every turn,” Buttenschon said. “Many of these facilities have faced recruitment and retention issues for several years, and the ongoing pandemic has only further strained their resources and capabilities. As legislators, it’s our duty to help provide the necessary resources in times of crisis like these, and providing hazard pay for the hardworking heroes on the frontlines and recruitment incentives for new staff are a good start.”

Following the initial wave of infections, health care facilities have a better understanding of treatments and interventions for the virus. However, statistics indicate that health care facilities statewide could still be overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients, which could hinder access to care and cost lives, Buttenschon noted. She said the state should help swiftly remedy these longstanding issues with recruitment and retention of health care staff.

Buttenschon will continue working to support staff in our acute, intermediate and long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and those who provide care for children and adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. COVID-19 has shown that these essential workers are vital to our communities’ health and our economy’s strength, noted Buttenschon.