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Republican lawmakers will release reopening plan later this week

Republicans say they will put forward a plan to reopen the Upstate districts they represent later this week. While exact details of the plan were not announced, Senator Tom O’Mara, R-Big Flats, said the plan will be a “Reopen and Reset” strategy.

O’Mara, whose 58th Senate District covers most of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, said that he and other state Senate Republicans are discussing and developing strategies for upstate’s post-coronavirus communities and economies focusing on several cornerstones including the steady rebuilding of increasing numbers of economic sectors, regulatory and tax reform, and mandate relief, among others.

“Right now we are witnessing state government by executive order and that will need to change as soon as possible. I have stressed throughout the ongoing COVID-19 response that we also need to be ready, once we weather this storm, to start an open and full discussion on the best ways to move forward for this entire state, upstate and downstate. It is going to require a restructuring of New York government, strengthening the state-local partnership, and getting back to work rebuilding New York with the right priorities, long-overdue commonsense reform, and fiscal responsibility,” O’Mara said. “I look forward to continuing to join my Senate Republican colleagues throughout the weeks and months ahead to put forth strategies and work to ensure that our upstate regions don’t get left behind in the unprecedented rebuilding and restructuring effort that we’re facing.”

One action O’Mara and his colleagues would like New York State to take immediately is to align the businesses on the Empire State Development Corporation’s (ESD) “essential business” designation with that of the federal government’s essential businesses list.

They argue that this move to more directly align New York’s reopening with the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) “Opening Up America Again” guidelines would allow more small businesses, industries, and manufacturers to reopen safely.