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How should NY address poverty in small to mid-sized cities?

A New York Senate committee convened on Tuesday to delve into the persistent issue of poverty in the state’s small and midsize cities. The hearing provided a platform for legislators to understand the depth and breadth of poverty-related challenges and to consider various policy interventions.

Key testimony highlighted the close link between poverty and violence, particularly in communities facing racial and generational disparities.

The committee, chaired by Democrat Senator Rachel May from the Syracuse area, discussed a range of issues, including the impact of zoning and historical redlining on affordable housing, support for families affected by mental or physical health challenges, and the programming needs of families who have lost loved ones.

A significant focus was placed on child poverty, with many advocating for the expansion of child tax credits. Breslin stressed the importance of considering the whole family in efforts to reduce child poverty.

Republican Senator Rob Rolison, the committee’s ranking member, called for fiscally sustainable solutions, underscoring the long-term nature of these challenges.

Following the hearing, Senator May announced plans to compile a comprehensive report based on the standout recommendations, aiming to inform future legislative priorities and actions to address poverty in New York’s smaller communities.