Headlines for January 2, 2022

New York Leads Country in Population Loss

According to the U.S. census bureau, New York State recently suffered the steepest one-year population decline of any state in the country. The Times Union is reporting that the wave of departures began during the pandemic, as many migrated to other states to avoid contracting Covid-19 or to evade Covid-resrictions. In contrast to New York, which lost 180,000 people between July 2021 and July 2022, politically conservative states such as Texas and Florida have grown steadily in population. The data has sparked debates in the political arena on how to best tackle the wave of departures. During the state’s gubernatorial race, Republicans blamed high taxes, increased government regulation and high crime for the loss. Governor Hochul, a Democrat, has outlined several policy proposals to combat the population losses. Her plans include creating 1 million new homes to lower the cost of housing in the state, and jumpstarting plans to steady the economy by investing in local businesses.

COVID Test Maker Sues State

A supplier of COVID-19 tests is suing the state Health Department. The plaintiff company, Digital Gadgets, had previously come under fire after receiving an exclusive no-bid contract of more than $630 million for Covid-19 tests. According to the Times Union, Hochul’s administration bypassed typical procurement rules citing the COVID-19 state of emergency. The deal drew criticism from Republicans as the company’s owner donated to Governor Hochul’s gubernatorial campaign. Now Digital Gadgets is suing the state for backtracking on a potential second deal in June. The state instead offered three separate companies $59 million each to make more Covid tests. 

Free Holiday Tree Disposal

Ithacans can drop off their holiday trees for free at the Recycling and Solid Waste Center through January 31, 2023. Trees must be free from decorations and synthetic trees are not accepted. The recycling center is located at 160 Commercial Ave, and is open Monday through Saturday from 7:00am to 3:30 pm. More information can be found at the Tompkins County Recycling & Materials Management website, linked at WRFI.com.

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