The New York State Nurses Association is calling for the state government to divert funds from the NYPD and to tax the rich to generate more funds for hospitals in need, the New York Daily News reports.
According to an internal memo obtained by the paper, the NYSNA is pushing for New York to divert $2 billion from jails, prosecutors’ offices and the NYPD and put that money into hospitals, where staff are struggling without proper training and space. The NYSNA also wants to generate more than $30 billion in taxing the rich, calling for a tax on second and third homes. In 2019 the NYPD spent nearly $6 billion out of the city’s $95 billion total budget, and several proposals to defund the NYPD are asking that $1 billion be cut from the budget.
While New York City is now entering its phase two of reopening and hospitalizations in the state are down, New York hospitals still face challenges as they prepare for a wave of new infections to come back. In April the NYSNA filed three lawsuits against the New York State Department of Health and two state hospitals over issues such as inadequate PPE, lack of training for nurses, and unsafe working conditions. And the NYSNA’s push for funding is in response to the fact that Black and Latino communities have been hit the hardest by covid-19, and the safety-net hospitals that serve those communities in desperate need of funds.
“The working class and the middle class and the poor are getting shafted,” NYSNA President Judy Sheridan-Gonzalez told the New York Daily News.