Headlines for December 5, 2022

The State Comptroller’s Office is seeking to return $20 million of unclaimed money to people in Tompkins County. According to the Ithaca Voice, the funds consist of remaining cash from old bank accounts, misplaced paychecks, and unused insurance claims. Statewide, the owed money has racked up to $17.5 billion. Just last year, the state returned $348 million in formerly unclaimed funds. New York residents, organizations, and businesses can check for any lost funds owed to them using the comptroller’s database

According to the Times Union, HIV advocates are pressuring Governor Hochul to review and change housing benefits for those with the immunodeficiency virus outside of New York City. Activists are pushing for the services provided by New York City’s HIV/AIDS Services Administration to be made available across the state. The proposed expansion would cost the state around $10 million. Supporters point to budget language enacted by Hochul’s predecessor, former Governor Andrew Cuomo, which suggests equal access to the enhanced rental assistance and 30 percent rent cap.  However, funding for the rest of the state’s 58 other social service districts has yet to make it into a state budget. Without the funding, the policy has become effectively optional, and not one upstate district has voluntarily provided the enhanced benefits. 

The Ithaca Salvation Army is seeking volunteers for their Red Kettle Campaign. The non-profit is hoping to raise a total of 100,000 dollars through volunteer solicitations outside stores. Volunteer hours have dropped by 50 percent since the COVID-19 pandemic, and with Christmas right around the corner, the Ithaca branch is under increasing pressure to reach their goal. Interested parties can call 607-273-2400 to donate or volunteer.

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