The check isn’t in the mail just yet – the bureaucratic maze for state and local funding in the COVID Rescue Plan

While Republicans busied themselves with such major matters as Green Eggs and Ham, Democrats in Congress and President Joe Biden had other things to do.  Needed funding for families, businesses, schools and colleges, and state and local governments is on its way to help get COVID-19 under control and revive the nation’s economy. 

Polling shows that the Biden American Rescue Plan is overwhelming popular, even among Republicans, about 60 percent of whom support it.  The Republican/Trump Party has abandoned policy debates to focus attention on their idol, the fatted golden calf, and on matters that promote social division.  With hardly a whimper from congressional Republicans, Democrats offered substantial financial relief and family-oriented policy in a bill which will set the tone for the role of the federal government for many years.

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The race for Erie County sheriff

“There’s something happening here, but what it is ain’t exactly clear…”  Buffalo Springfield’s For What It’s Worth

Local politics in Western New York has long operated in an atmosphere with traditional contests – one Democrat, one Republican.  Every now and then a serious minor party candidate gets involved.  Independent candidates have been even rarer.  And that’s the way that party leadership likes it.

So how do you figure the sudden interest in the race for Erie County sheriff?

The office of sheriff is a constitutional office in New York State.  Outside of New York City all sheriffs are elected.  Their duties are determined by both state law and the practices and procedures in the various counties.

In Erie County the sheriff has responsibility for managing the county’s holding center in Buffalo for people who have been arrested and a correctional facility in Alden for those convicted of crimes.  Changes in state bail law requirements have recently reduced the numbers of men and women held in those facilities.  Plans are in the works for possibly consolidating the two facilities into more or less one location.

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