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American Rescue Plan

July 15, 2021 - 2:35pm

Press release:

Following his successful passage of the broader American Rescue Plan earlier this year, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer heralded the Child Tax Credit expansion, which will allow payments of up to $300 per child to automatically go out to families across New York each month – starting TODAY July 15. Schumer said the plan will impact more than 86 percent of New York children.

The Finger Lakes Region, which includes Genesee County, is expected to receive Expanded Child Tax Credits totaling more than $435 million.

“Help is here for working families across New York in the form of enhanced Child Tax Credits that put more money in families’ pockets to recover from COVID even as its boosts New York’s economy,” Senator Schumer said. “Over 86 percent of families throughout New York will benefit from the enhanced Child Tax Credit just as they begin to fully recover from the global health and economic pandemic that rocked our country for the past year.

"That is why I made sure this relief bill included help for New York families, because this significant expansion of the Child Tax Credit will cut the nation’s child poverty rate in half and bring necessary relief. The credit expansion – on top of the $1,400 direct checks that came earlier this year – will provide New York’s families with thousands of dollars of relief, directly in their pockets. Getting additional federal dollars into the hands of struggling families not only makes sense, but it’s what’s needed to help the New York recover from the pandemic.”

Schumer explained the Child Tax Credit (CTC), one of the most powerful and effective anti-poverty tools the federal government has, was significantly expanded for American households in the American Rescue Plan. This tax-credit expansion will deliver an estimated $7.03 billion in additional economic relief to families with children across New York and have a major impact on working families.

Schumer highlighted that researchers have estimated that the American Rescue Plan – including the expanded Child Tax Credit – will cut the child poverty rate in half nationally. Specifically, the relief bill increases the Child Tax Credit amount from $2,000 to $3,000 per child age 6 to 17 (and $3,600 per child below the age of 6) for 2021.

Additionally, the bill makes the CTC fully refundable and removes the $2,500 earnings floor to receive the credit for 2021, ensuring that the lowest income households will be able to benefit from the maximum credit amount for the year.

This change importantly corrected flaws in the credit that prevented around 27 million children nationwide whose families have little or no income from receiving the full benefit – and in New York State alone, this credit expansion will benefit 1,546,000 of these children who were previously left out of the full Child Tax Credit.

The increased $3,000 or $3,600 CTC is available to families making less than $150,000, and it phases down above that income level, so household incomes of more than $150,000 will see a reduced credit.

This boosted credit amount is particularly impactful in lower-income households, as it has been found that increasing a low-income child’s family income early in their life has numerous, critical longer-term benefits on education, health, and even employment. Specifically, it is estimated that a $3,000 increase in annual family income for children under age 5 translates into an estimated 19-percent earnings increase in adulthood.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, an estimated 3,564,000 children across New York will benefit from this expanded tax credit – including 583,000 Black, 954,000 Latino, and 266,000 Asian American children. It will also lift 680,000 children in the state above or closer to the poverty line.

The total amount of Expanded Child Tax Credit headed to each region in New York State can be found below:  

REGION

TOTAL EXPANDED CTC

Southern Tier

$264,503,932

Capital Region

$502,125,581

Central

$471,279,544

Hudson Valley

$847,414,412

Long Island

$1,028,580,062

NYC

$2,997,872,107

Finger Lakes

$435,560,223

Western

$482,651,024

TOTAL:

$7,029,986,887

April 14, 2021 - 1:09pm

Press release:

In a new push to combat a silent but devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic’s toll on mental health, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer this week pushed the feds to "quick release" $5 billion dollars he worked to include in the recently passed American Rescue Plan (ARP) so that the funds can give New Yorkers—and the mental health providers they rely upon—the help they’re asking for amid rising need.

Schumer said that, on average, three times more people than last year at this time report struggling with mental health symptoms like depression, anxiety, drug use and more. Schumer said that one of the biggest problems to beating these feelings and reclaiming mental health depends on timely access to care and overall access to care.

He explained that with the "quick release" of these fed funds, New York will see a surge in mental health support programs and increased access to a variety of care options.

“What many New Yorkers are saying right now is that the pandemic has taken such a mental toll that some of them need more help than others to overcome new challenges and struggles related to their mental health and happiness,” Schumer said. “In fact, New York’s increased mental health struggles are an overall silent—but devastating—effect of this pandemic with three times more people than last year reporting the onset of symptoms like depression, anxiety and more.

"Untreated, these conditions can lead to dangerous spirals that upend lives and families. That is why we need a quick release of the $5 billion in fed funds secured as part of the American Rescue Plan to beat back this surge in need and give patients and providers more help.”

COVID-19's Toll on Mental Health: Anxiety, Depression, Psychiatric Disorders Rising 

Schumer stressed the importance of combatting the mental health crisis exacerbated by the pandemic, citing a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation that said during the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults have reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, up from 1 in 10 adults who reported the same symptoms less than a year ago.

Amongst COVID-19 survivors as well, it has been reported that 1 in 3 patients were diagnosed with a brain or psychiatric disorder within six months of physical recovery, indicating that the mental health effects of COVID-19 will last well beyond the end of the pandemic.

“This is a critical moment where we must acknowledge the lasting mental effects of the pandemic and work to combat them before the crisis deepens,” Schumer added. “The feds (via HHS and SAMHSA) must stand up their programs ASAP and begin the hard, but important, work of getting these funds out to support our most vulnerable New Yorkers.”

“As a field, we are seeing surges in New York area patients with anxiety, depression, and loneliness for adults and children. Some COVID-19 survivors are experiencing psychiatric symptoms for the first time months into their recovery. And nationally there has been a significant increase in substance use and overdose deaths.

This is not a surprise. COVID-19 has disrupted every facet of life and people are struggling. The reality is that the pandemic has blocked common coping strategies including social interactions, daily routines, and planning for the future.

Schumer is wise to have secured these funds because there is a need in the community with new patients seeking care, and old patients returning to care.

Mental Health Funding Needed Sooner Rather Than Later

"The faster these funds are released the sooner more individuals can get the help they need,” said Aspasia Hotzoglou, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist at American Institute for Cognitive Therapy.​

The roughly $5 billion Schumer helped to deliver nationally is broken down, in part, below. New York will see a sizable portion of these funds, once they begin to flow.

  • Schumer secured $3 billion for mental health and substance use block grants. These grants are used to fund treatment for a variety of New Yorkers, enhance mental health prevention efforts, and implement local, community-based mental health interventions. Based on the services they offer, New York mental health organizations—and providers—will be able to apply for these funds via SAMHSA.
  • Funds would also be in the form of Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grants. These funds are sent directly to community organizations to provide mental health and substance abuse treatment and services, such as screening, day treatment programs, emergency services, outpatient treatment and more.
  • More than $1 billion for a new federal program to create mobile crisis intervention services, which are dispatched when a person is experiencing a mental health or substance use disorder crisis. These services can work closely with law enforcement and help protect both patients and police officers.
  • $140 million for mental health needs of doctors, nurses and health care providers, who have struggled with PTSD and exhaustion during the pandemic:
    • $80 million for health care professional mental health programs;
    • $20 million for a national evidence-based education and awareness campaign targeting health care professionals and first responders;
    • $40 million for grants for health care providers to promote mental and behavioral health among their health professional workforce.
  • $140 million for youth mental health.

“Bottom line here is that the feds need to get this money out the door so local organizations and providers can keep theirs open and meet the increased demand spurred by COVID,” Schumer added.

March 29, 2021 - 12:38pm
posted by Press Release in news, covid-19, CDC, USDA, eviction moratorium, American Rescue Plan.

Press release:

Today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) extended the eviction moratorium to affected multifamily housing residents through June 30. This halt in residential evictions allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to extend relief to the hundreds of thousands of Americans who rely on USDA-supported multifamily housing communities.

“Due to COVID-19, the United States is facing a nationwide housing affordability crisis," said USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson. "That’s why, in a whole-of-government effort, USDA is taking this important action today to extend rental relief to the tens of thousands of individuals in USDA-supported multifamily housing communities.

"Currently, more than 40,000 tenants are rent-overburdened, paying more than 30 percent of their income on rent. Today’s actions will give tenants at USDA-financed properties essential relief while the Department works as quickly as possible to extend the $100 million for emergency rental assistance provided by the American Rescue Plan Act to USDA’s most rent overburdened tenants.”

For more information about the protections provided under this moratorium extension, see the FACT SHEET: The Biden-Harris Administration’s Multi-Agency Effort to Support Renters and Landlords | The White House.

In a recent Census Bureau survey, nine million renters (or an estimated 15 percent of all renters) reported being behind on rent. The same survey showed that about 29 percent of Black families and 17 percent of Hispanic renters were behind on rent.

USDA’s Multi-Family Housing Programs provide affordable multifamily rental housing in rural areas by financing projects geared for low-income, elderly and disabled individuals and families, as well as domestic farm workers.

USDA extends its reach by guaranteeing loans for affordable rental housing designed for low- to moderate-income residents in rural areas and towns. USDA also provides grants to sponsoring organizations to repair or rehabilitate housing for eligible families and subsidizes rents for low-income tenants who cannot afford to pay their full rent.

COVID-19 has had a lasting impact on rural America. Families have lost their homes, students have resorted to unconventional solutions to access schoolwork online, the need for food assistance has grown, and access to COVID-19 testing and vaccinations have been limited.

The American Rescue Plan implements funding that invests in the people of rural America:

  • $100 million through September 2022 in rental assistance for low-income and elderly borrowers.
  • $39 million through September 2023 to help refinance direct loans under the Single-Family Housing Loan Program and the Single-Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants.
  • $500 million in Community Facility Program funds to help rural hospitals and local communities broaden access to COVID-19 vaccines & food assistance.

In addition to programs facilitated by USDA, the American Rescue Plan provides significant investments into rural communities by expanding internet connectivity and establishing a homeowner assistance fund to assist struggling homeowners with mortgage payments, property taxes, property insurance, utilities and other housing related costs.

March 29, 2021 - 12:25pm

Press release:

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $3,702,246 in federal block grants for seven New York tribal communities through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Indian Housing Block Grants Program.

Included is $35,007 for the Tonawanda Band of Seneca in Basom.

The funding, authorized in the American Rescue Plan, will go toward developing new affordable housing projects and improving existing units on Indian reservations and lands, in turn providing tangible relief to individuals and families. 

“Let me make this clear: safe housing, especially during a pandemic is a right,” Senator Schumer said. “This federal investment gets us closer to our goal of ensuring that every New Yorker has a safe place to call home, including our neighbors in New York’s tribal communities.

"I have long believed in the importance of directing resources to historically disadvantaged communities, and that need is even more pronounced in this crisis which has done so much to worsen those inequities. I will always fight tooth and nail so all of New York’s tribal community members have a place to call home.”

“I am proud to announce this American Rescue Plan funding to combat homelessness across the country,” Senator Gillibrand said. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis have exacerbated housing insecurity across New York, especially in underserved communities.

"This funding will help ensure that New York’s tribal communities have access to stable, safe, and affordable housing. No one should ever have to question whether they’ll have a safe place to sleep at night during the pandemic and beyond.” 

TRIBE

CITY

AMOUNT RECEIVED

Cayuga Nation

Seneca Falls

$186,448

Oneida Indian Nation of New York

Verona

$512,804

Seneca Nation of New York

Irving

$1,745,554

Shinnecock Indian Nation

Southampton

$67,575

St. Regis Mohawk Tribe

Akwesasne

$1,119,851

Tonawanda Band of Seneca

Basom

$35,007

Tuscarora Nation

Lewiston

$35,007

March 18, 2021 - 3:47pm

Press release:

Following steadfast support for New York’s colleges and universities throughout the pandemic, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced that the recently signed American Rescue Plan includes an estimated $2.6 billion for New York’s public, private, and proprietary institutions of higher education.

In Genesee County, Genesee Community College is expected to get $9.1M and Genesee-Livingston-Steuben-Wyoming BOCES is expected to get a total of $662,000. The total allotment for the Finger Lakes Region is almost $164M.

Schumer said that public and nonprofit schools will use half of their award on emergency financial aid grants to students to help them with college costs and basic needs like housing, food, and healthcare.

The other half of the funds will allow institutions to provide additional student support activities, and to cover a variety of institutional costs, including lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, technology costs associated with a transition to distance education, faculty and staff trainings, and payroll. Proprietary schools must use their awards exclusively to provide financial aid grants to students.

“As New York’s colleges, universities, and students face over a year of unprecedented hurdles, they do so at a steep cost that it is our responsibility to address and overcome. In prioritizing the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff, New York’s higher education institutions have ripped massive holes in their budgets and are now facing down financial devastation – and we simply can’t let that happen,” Senator Schumer said.

“As Majority Leader, I was proud to make funding for New York’s higher education institutions and students a top priority, and the American Rescue Plan will deliver this much needed $2.6 billion in assistance to help our world-class institutions through the crisis, get students safely back to classes, and get campuses across the state back to ‘normal’.”

This funding announced today is in addition to the $2.4 billion Schumer secured for New York’s institutions of higher education in the past COVID-19 relief bills. In total, Schumer has secured over $5 billion for New York’s colleges and universities in the past year.

March 17, 2021 - 12:32pm

Press release:

After championing funding for education to benefit Upstate New York’s schools, children, and students throughout the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced today that the recently signed American Rescue Plan includes $2.5 billion that will allow Upstate New York’s school districts: to fill budget gaps; address learning loss; meet the needs of students with disabilities; assist students experiencing homelessness; provide summer enrichment and afterschool programs, and more.

Schumer explained that after the COVID crisis forced schools to close, safely reopening them has and will continue to cost tens of thousands of dollars, and the federal funding allocated for them in the American Rescue Plan will help schools bring students back to their desks when New York recovers from the pandemic and returns to "normal."

“Everyone wants schools to reopen completely and for our children to be able to return to the classroom, but it needs to be done in a way that is safe for students, families, educators, and learning institutions,” Senator Schumer said.

“COVID brought unprecedented challenges that have cost a year of learning and development for students — challenges disproportionately felt by students of color, students from low-income families, students with disabilities, and more.

"As Majority Leader, I was proud to make funding for our schools a priority, and the American Rescue Plan will deliver this much needed aid to get Upstate students back in school. Help is on the way for Upstate New York’s schools put behind the curve by the pandemic.”

New York Senator Shelley Mayer, Chair of the Senate Education Committee said, “Thank you to Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for his hard work and persistence to ensure New York schools and students receive much needed support through the American Rescue Plan. This unprecedented federal funding will put us on the right path to recover from the devastation our school communities faced during the pandemic.

"I am committed to working with my colleagues to ensure that all federal aid will be used to supplement, rather than replace, state funding. The pandemic exacerbated disparities in our schools, and we must ensure that resources and staff are available to help students recover academically and work through mental and emotional health challenges. Thank you also to Majority Leader Schumer’s staff members for working closely with me in our efforts to secure additional education funds for our schools.” 

This funding is in addition to the $5 billion Schumer secured for New York school districts in the past COVID-19 relief bills. In total, Schumer has secured over $14 billion for New York school districts in the past year.

Schumer previously visited the Finger LakesNorth CountryCentral New YorkWestern New YorkSouthern Tier, and Hudson Valley to advocate for federal funding for Upstate school districts.

Genesee County is in the Rochester -- Finger Lakes Region, which is earmarked to get $392 million.

Collectively, Genesee County School districts are expected to get a total of $10,677,000:

Genesee County: Alexander Central School District $603,000.00
Genesee County: Batavia City School District $4,767,000.00
Genesee County: Byron-Bergen Central School District $1,209,000.00
Genesee County: Elba Central School District $372,000.00
Genesee County: Le Roy Central School District $1,207,000.00
Genesee County: Oakfield-Alabama Central School District $724,000.00
Genesee County: Pavilion Central School District $806,000.00
Genesee County: Pembroke Central School District $1,189,000.00
March 15, 2021 - 5:27pm

Press release:

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer announced that the recently signed American Rescue Plan includes $480,249,023 that will guide Upstate New York’s pandemic-battered airports and transit systems to lift off. Specifically, Upstate airports will receive $84,410,140, and Upstate transit systems will receive $395,838,883 of the total amount.

Genesee County Airport will get $32,000.

Schumer said that as the COVID crisis extends beyond what was initially estimated, impacting the air travel industry and public transportation systems for months on end, the federal funding allocated for them in the American Rescue Plan will help transportation systems keep their wheels turning while New York recovers from the pandemic and returns to "normal."

“Air travel and public transportation are among the most severely impacted industries amid the pandemic, and both are vital to the connectivity and success of the Upstate economy,” Senator Schumer said. “Airports and transit systems serve important functions in their communities, especially in more rural areas, connecting communities and residents and allowing for economic opportunities to cruise in.

"As Majority Leader, I was proud to make transportation funding a priority and the American Rescue Plan will deliver this much needed aid to keep Upstate residents connected. Help is on the way that will put Upstate New York’s transportation on the road to recovery.”

Schumer explained that the funding announced today will be allocated by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and includes $12.5 million for the New York State DOT Rural 5311 program. This program aims to support public transportation in areas with populations of less than 50,000 people and funds may be used for capital and operating assistance grants to local public bodies, tribes, and operators of intercity bus services in rural areas.

This funding is in addition to the $143,980,632 Schumer secured for upstate airports and $395,239,378 for Upstate transit in the past relief bills. In total, Schumer has now secured more than $624,229,655 for Upstate airports and $624,472,505 for transit in the past year.

March 11, 2021 - 9:15am

Batavia City Manager Rachael Tabelski was spot on Monday night when she predicted the “lower figure” would be allocated to the city through the $1.9 trillion federal relief act known as the American Rescue Plan.

Tabelski reported at this week’s City Council meeting that she received estimates “ranging between $1.57 million and $2.5 million, so I’ll go with the lowest figure -- 1.5 to come into the City of Batavia, specifically.”

Tentative dollar amounts released Wednesday by Sen. Charles Schumer’s office and the National Association of Counties indicate that the city will get $1.58 million as a result of the legislation.

Tabelski categorized the funding as a “windfall” in that the money must be used for certain projects such as infrastructure and not to “stabilize our operations.” Municipal leaders are waiting for more details on how the money can be spent.

Genesee County is targeted to receive $11.11 million, in range of what County Manager Matt Landers had forecasted. 

The county’s 14 towns are expected to receive $4.66 million, divvied up as follows:

  • Town of Alabama, $190,000;
  • Town of Alexander, $270,000;
  • Town of Batavia, $750,000;
  • Town of Bergen, $320,000;
  • Town of Bethany, $190,000;
  • Town of Byron, $250,000;
  • Town of Darien, $330,000;
  • Town of Elba, $250,000;
  • Town of Le Roy, $810,000;
  • Town of Oakfield, $330,000;
  • Town of Pavilion, $260,000;
  • Town of Pembroke, $450,000;
  • Town of Stafford, $260,000.

Allocations to Orleans and Wyoming counties are expected to be $7.83 million and $7.73 million, respectively.

In other City of Batavia government news:

  • Tabelski and City Council President Eugene Jankowski Jr. said they are waiting to receive some outstanding invoices before determining the total amount that was spent to conduct the nationwide search for a permanent city manager.

Jankowski previously told The Batavian that he figured it would be around $5,000. The city contracted with The Novak Consulting Group of Cincinnati, Ohio, to assist in the search following the departure of Martin Moore last June. (The Batavian has requested an itemized list of all expenses).

Some residents have criticized the city for conducting another search (Novak was involved in the search that resulted in Moore’s hiring in 2018) when it could have hired Tabelski, who had been serving in an interim role for the past eight months.

Council opted to conduct a full search, however, as a stipulation in the contract with Novak indicated it would be provided at no cost, other than travel, advertising and related expenses.

As it turned out, even if the expenses involved to reach a decision to appoint Tabelski as the permanent city manager increase to $6,000, for example, the city will have saved significantly in salary over that time.

If Tabelski was hired in July, her salary would have jumped from (approximately) $7,398 per month to $9,166 per month – a difference of $1,768 per month. Multiply that times eight months and you get $14,144. The city did give Tabelski a stipend of $1,000 per month for the additional duties, so the savings decrease to $6,144.

But what also must be considered is that if Tabelski was hired in July, she would have brought on an assistant manager in short order. Even at a salary of $75,000, for example, that would have cost the city another $45,000 to 50,000 or so in personnel expenses.

Jankowski said initially he was in favor of “speeding up the hiring process” as he supported Tabelski for the job, but he thinks the decision to conduct the search was the right one.

“Looking back on that, I’m glad I acted on the feedback I received and supported moving on with a full and complete search,” he said. “It was fair and thorough. The search committee did a great job and I’m proud to have been a part of the process.”

  • Tabelski, responding to an email from The Batavian, confirmed that Ray Tourt had opted not to accept the permanent position of Department of Public Works director.

“After additional consideration, Ray Tourt has decided not to take the permanent/provisional appointment of Director of Public Works,” Tabelski said. “Ray, a 20-plus-year veteran of the city, is committed to the City of Batavia and will remain the interim director while the city conducts a full search, and hiring process for a new director.”

Once a new director is hired, Tourt will go back to his former position of superintendent of the Bureau of Maintenance, and the city’s Human Resources department will begin to advertise for the position of DPW director in the near future, Tabelski added.

Tourt was appointed DPW director in December after Matt Worth’s announcement that he would be retiring.

March 9, 2021 - 8:58am

As much as $2.5 million could be on its way to the City of Batavia through the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that is expected to be approved by the House of Representatives either today or Wednesday before being sent to President Biden for signing into law.

“We’ve had figures ranging between $1.57 million and $2.5 million, so I’ll go with the lowest figure -- 1.5 to come into the City of Batavia, specifically,” City Manager Rachael Tabelski said after Monday night’s City Council Business Meeting at the City Hall Council Board Room.

The massive COVID-19 relief bill includes another round of $1,400 direct payments to income-eligible citizens as well as money for schools, small businesses, vaccines and expansion of the child tax credit. It has been hailed as a great victory for the Biden Administration, but lawmakers on the Republican side have opposed it, stating that only 9 percent of the funds go directly to coronavirus relief.

Already passed by the Senate, the current plan on the House floor appropriates $23.8 billion for New York State, broken down as follows:

  • $12.569 billion for New York State government;
  • $6.141 billion for New York’s metro cities;
  • $3.907 billion for New York’s counties;
  • $825 million for New York’s small cities, towns and villages;
  • $358 million for New York State broadband investment.

Tabelski termed money earmarked for Batavia as a “windfall.”

“The issue with the revenue is that it is not sustainable … it’s a windfall to the city,” she said. “You have to look at it for one-time type projects, and it can only be spent on certain things, like water, wastewater, infrastructure, broadband infrastructure, things of that nature.”

She said that the funds aren’t “something we can use at this point to stabilize our operations” but can be used to advance projects identified by city leaders.

She said it is unclear exactly how the money can be spent.

“Does it have to be COVID-related or can it be open-ended? So, when those rules and regulations are promulgated, we’ll have a lot better picture of how we’re able to move that forward on behalf of the residents of the city,” she advised.

Looking at Genesee County, its chief administrative officer anticipates the county receiving between $11 million and $12 million once the bill is passed.

“Guidelines are still coming out to help municipalities such as counties and cities better identify how we can allocate those monies in our communities,” County Manager Matt Landers said this morning.

“Basically, the broad strokes, the big picture that has been provided to me so far is that we can spend it on things like economic development projects, and infrastructure needs like broadband and water.”

He also pointed out that the money can be used to replace verifiable lost revenue.

“And we certainly can demonstrate lost revenue in Genesee County from lost sales tax and even lost state aid,” he said. “And also cover current and future COVID costs … and costs related to the pandemic that may qualify, such as the delay of our (proposed new) county jail. We have delayed our jail probably a good year or two, and the prices have gone up since then.”

Landers said he will be on a conference call with New York State Association of Counties officials on Friday to learn more about the parameters of the American Rescue Plan and share ideas with other county administrators.

“To my knowledge, you can access the money for prior lost revenue … things that have happened as a result of the pandemic and then there are specific projects in the community that we can put it towards,” he offered.

“That’s where the economic development and infrastructure projects come in, working with the Chamber of Commerce and GCEDC (Genesee County Economic Development Center) to see of there are some projects that will meet the criteria – when we actually learn what the criteria is.”

Batavia Town Supervisor Gregory Post said he has not received specific details, but indicated any funding for the town would likely be funneled through the county.

“We received absolutely nothing officially, in fact we’re still trying to get FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) reimbursements and work through that process,” said Post, adding that the town board will convene on Wednesday to possibly find out more about the latest relief package.

Post said there’s “a lot to offset” because municipalities did not receive the state aid that was expected.

“Counties are still recovering from that as well as a lot of towns,” he said.

March 7, 2021 - 2:05pm

Press release:

Just back from Washington, D.C., U.S. Senator Charles Schumer announced, today, that "help is on the way" to New York and New Yorkers as he detailed specifics from the American Rescue Plan he just led to passage in the U.S. Senate.

Schumer detailed the plan’s tentative impact to New York as $100 billion. The deal includes an additional round of direct stimulus checks, extends enhanced unemployment insurance benefits, will help solve New York State and Upstate New York municipalities budget woes.

The assistance marks a not-too-soon moment of relief for countless families, workers, restaurants, more independent venues and small businesses across the state. As part of the deal, more than $23.8 billion flows directly to New York State government(s) on top of increased education funding, transit funding and highways, vaccine distribution, COVID-19 health funding, emergency rental and housing assistance and more included for New York in this bill.

“Back in November, the American people and New Yorkers sent a crystal clear message to the previous administration: deliver the robust COVID relief this country needs or get out of the way," said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.

"The deal we reached with the help of a new president, and a new democratic Senate marks real relief to the tune of $100 billion for workers, families, healthcare, small businesses, including our hard-hit industries like restaurants, and New York — the things we need to support to weather this crisis and then work to recover.

“This marks the second biggest stimulus bill in the nation’s history — second to the CARES Act — and it comes just in time, because Americans and New York still need real help to get through this."

The details and the impact on New York appear in the breakdown below. These numbers are tentative.

STATE & LOCAL FISCAL RELIEF

$23.8 billion for New York – Total amount of funding provided to New York State through the state and local fiscal relief fund, to keep first responders, frontline health workers, and other providers of vital services safely on the job as states and local governments roll out vaccines and fight to rebuild Main Street economies.

Funding can be used for assistance to households, small businesses, nonprofits, aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality, investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, and to provide premium pay to frontline workers. Local governments of every size, including all counties, cities, towns, and villages, receive dedicated federal aid awards.

A new $10 billion capital projects program also support state broadband deployment efforts. Funds are allocated in New York as follows:

  • $12.569 billion for New York State Government
  • $6.141 billion for New York’s Metro Cities
  • $3.907 billion for New York’s Counties
  • $825 million for New York’s Small Cities, Towns, and Villages
  • $358 million for a New York State Broadband Investment Program

ADDITIONAL AID TO NEW YORK

  • $3.1 billion: Medicaid FMAP increase ($2.1 billion already delivered from Schumer pushing President Biden to extend through the end of the calendar year, in addition to $1 billion from a targeted enhanced FMAP for home and community-based services from this legislation);
  • $7+ billion: New York Area Transit ($6.5B to MTA). The New York State Department of Transportation will receive $12M directly to support rural transit systems. The remainder will support county bus services, and Upstate transit agencies;
  • $418 million: New York’s hard-hit airports to continue operating safely during the pandemic. Port Authority Airports will receive: $218M for JFK, $107M for LGA, $4M for Stewart, and $164M for EWR. This includes $60M in relief at the four airports for large and small concessionaire businesses that have been hard hit by the pandemic and unable to pay minimum guarantees to airports;
  • $1.7 billion – Relief for Amtrak to help maintain operations and other expenditures during the pandemic, especially in New York;
  • $15 billion – The CARES Act Airline Payroll Support Program which will save thousands of New York airline and airline contractor jobs by keeping workers on payroll without furloughs or reducing pay rates and benefits until March 31, 2021 New York will receive sizable share of these funds.

EDUCATION – K-12 SCHOOLS & INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER ED

  • $9 billion – K-12 Schools – these flexible funds will support school districts in reopening safely for in-person instruction and addressing the many needs that students are facing due to the pandemic. A portion of the funds are targeted toward addressing learning loss, providing resources through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and implementing summer enrichment and afterschool programs;
  • $2.6 billion – Colleges and Universities – Institutions must distribute half of their allocation to students in the form of financial aid awards to address hardships caused by COVID-19. The remaining portion of the funds can be used on reopening costs, revenue losses, classroom retrofits, PPE, and other expenses;
  • $257 million – Private K-12 schools – these funds are administered by the state educational agency to provide public health and related assistance and services to private K-12 schools.

CHILD CARE & HELP FOR NY FAMILIES

  • $1.8 billion – Child Care – Through the Child Care Stabilization Fund and the Child Care Community Development Block Grants (CCDBG), these funds ensure that the child care sector will continue to assist working families, and to support child care providers in meeting their increased operation costs during the pandemic;
  • $59 million – Head Start – this is emergency funding that will continue to provide access of services for children and their families;
  • $7.03 billion: Child Tax Credit payment to New York families;
  • $786 million: Earned Income Tax Credit payment to New York families;
  • More than $1 billion in additional Emergency Rental Assistance and assistance for preventing homelessness;
  • $575 million in mortgage and utility assistance for homeowners;
  • $1.07 billion: Nutrition Assistance ($810 million for Pandemic EBT Benefits, $227 million for SNAP)

UI AND DIRECT CHECKS TO NEW YORKERS

An estimated $21.7 billion for NY in Enhanced Unemployment Insurance Benefits. This bill provides billions in additional federal relief for struggling New Yorkers – who are out of work through no fault of their own – by extending the historic unemployment insurance reforms established in the CARES Act, through Sept. 6.

Importantly, it continues the critical lifeline of the enhanced unemployment assistance, providing an additional $300 per week on top of all state and federal unemployment benefits.

The bill extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for the self-employed, gig workers, freelancers and others in nontraditional employment, as well as the additional weeks of federal unemployment insurance for workers who exhaust their regular state benefits. Notably, this legislation excludes up to $10,200 of unemployment benefits received in 2020 from taxable income, providing much-needed tax relief for workers making less than $150,000.

Over $22 Billion in Direct Payments for NY – The American Rescue Plan includes an additional round of Economic Impact Payments of $1,400 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year and $2,800 for couples making up to $150,000 per year. Eligible families will also receive an additional $1,400 payment per child and adult dependent, amounting to $5,600 for an average family of four. Nearly 9 million New York households will receive another round of direct payments, helping them to cover essential expenses like food, rent or mortgages, and medical bills during this crisis.

COVID VAX & TESTING EFFORT ACROSS NY

Roughly $4 billion to support more vaccines, testing and healthcare in New York.  

 

NEW RELIEF AVAILABLE FOR NEW YORK SMALL BUSINESSES, RESTAURANTS, NONPROFITS, ARTS AND CULTURE VENUES, AND TOURISM SECTOR

$28.6 billion for Restaurants – A new restaurant relief fund, modeled on the widely support, bipartisan RESTAURANTS Act, which will provide flexible grants through the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a lifeline for New York’s restaurant industry, one of the hardest hit by the economic effects of the COVID pandemic.

Food service or drinking establishments, including caterers, brewpubs, taprooms, and tasting rooms, that are not part of an affiliated group with more than 20 locations will be eligible. To provide comprehensive support to local restaurants, grants from the fund could be used alongside first and second Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance, and the Employee Retention Tax Credit.

The new restaurants relief fund will be designed to provide flexible grants of up to $10 million per restaurant group, $5 million per individual restaurant, that can be used to cover payroll, mortgages or rent, setup for outdoor seating, PPE, paid leave, food and other supplies, or debt and other expenses. Grants can be spent on eligible expenses from 2/15/20 through 12/31/21 and the SBA Administrator may extend the period through two years from enactment if conditions warrant.

Of the $25 billion total, $5 billion is reserved for restaurants with less than $500,000 in gross receipts in 2019 for the first 60 days of the program. During the initial 21-day period, the administrator will prioritize awarding grants to eligible entities that are owned or controlled by women or veterans or are socially and economically disadvantaged businesses.

$1.25B and a Key Fix for Save Our Stages – The bill provides an additional $1.25 billion for hard-hit independent live venues, performing arts organizations, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions.

The bill also includes a critical fix that allows venues to access a PPP loan and a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, deducting the PPP loan amount from the grant amount. Including access to both programs will provide a much-needed source of additional capital as these struggling businesses and nonprofits try to stay afloat during the crisis. 

$15 billion for SBA Targeted EIDL Grants -- This funding will provide hard-hit, underserved small businesses with increased flexible grant relief. These grants will be particularly helpful for very small businesses and sole proprietors, which include over 90 percent of minority-owned businesses that have been disproportionately devastated by this crisis.

Expanded PPP Eligibility for Nonprofits – This bill makes additional 501(c) nonprofits eligible for PPP. It also makes local offices of larger nonprofits eligible for PPP assistance as long as those locations are not larger than 500 employees for first PPP loans or 300 employees for second PPP loans, expanding access to vital relief for nonprofit organizations that are critical to local services and the economy.

Community Navigator Program for Underserved Businesses – $100 million is included to fund community organizations and community financial institutions with a focus on and experience working in minority, immigrant, and rural communities to serve as community navigators to help connect small business owners in these communities to critical resources, including small business loans, business licenses, and federal, state and local business assistance programs. 

$10 billion for Small Business Opportunity Fund – This funding available through the Treasury Department is modeled on the State Small Business Credit Initiative and will support state and local capital and technical assistance initiatives for small businesses responding to and recovering from the pandemic, which will be particularly beneficial to minority-owned and other underserved small businesses.

$3 billion for Economic Development Grants, Including for Tourism and Travel -- $3 billion is included for the Economic Development Administration to provide flexible grants for rebuilding the local economies of communities that have experienced significant job loss from COVID-19. A $750 million set-aside is included for assistance to states and communities that have suffered from job and GDP loss in the tourism, travel, and outdoor recreation sectors.

Extended Employee Retention Tax Credit – The bill extends through the end of 2021 the refundable payroll tax credit designed to help employers keep more of their valued workers on payroll during this economic crisis. This tax credit is available to struggling New York companies and nonprofits of all sizes, and is equal to 70 percent of qualified wages up to $10,000 per employee per quarter.

CONNECTING MORE NY FAMILIES TO BROADBAND

$632 million -- The American Rescue Plan includes $7.172 billion nationally to close the homework gap by providing internet and connected devices to vulnerable students and educators. New York is estimated to receive around $632 million in funding to help students and educators.

REDUCING POVERTY FOR NEW YORKERS

The American Rescue Plan includes a significant expansion of two of the most powerful and effective anti-poverty tools the federal government has – the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit – for 2021:

  • Makes the CTC fully refundable and increases the credit amount from $2,000 to $3,000 per child age 6 to 17 (and $3,600 per child below the age of 6). An estimated 3.56 million children across New York will benefit from this expanded tax credit, and it will lift 680,000 children in the state above or closer to the poverty line.
  • Strengthens the EITC for childless workers, many of whom are in lower-paid but essential jobs on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic response, benefitting 910,000 of these workers in New York.

PROVIDING FINANCIAL STABILITY FOR NY WORKERS AND RETIREES

The American Rescue Plan importantly delivers critical relief for ailing multiemployer pension plans – which have experienced significant additional challenges as a result of this economic crisis – without cutting the hard-earned benefits of retirees.

In New York State alone, there are more than 1.3 million participants in multiemployer pension plans, and around 624,600 New Yorkers are participants in plans that are expected to receive relief directly through this legislation.

*****ROUGH TOTAL FOR NEW YORK: $100 BILLION*****

March 6, 2021 - 1:04pm
posted by Press Release in Sen. Charles Schumer, news, American Rescue Plan.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor in advance of the passage of the American Rescue Plan by the Senate.

Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks:

"It has been a long day, a long night, a long year. But a new day has come. And we tell the American people, help is on the way. When Democrats assumed the majority in this chamber, we promised to pass legislation to rescue our people from the depths of the pandemic and bring our economy, and our country, roaring back.

"In a few moments, we are going to deliver on that promise. This bill will deliver more help to more people than anything the federal government has done in decades. It is broader, deeper and more comprehensive in helping working families and lifting people out of poverty than anything Congress has seen or accomplished in a very long time.

"The pandemic has affected nearly every aspect of American life. So this bill spans the gamut and provides support to every part of our country. For Americans who doubted that the government can help them in this time of crisis, you’ll be getting direct checks, your schools will receive assistance to reopen quickly and safely, your local businesses will get another lifeline, and the day when you receive the vaccine will be a lot sooner.

"The American Rescue plan will go down as one of the most sweeping federal recovery efforts in history. It’s never easy to pass legislation as momentous as this. But it will all, and soon, be worth it.

"Now, I know that on a Saturday morning, the American people haven’t been watching our proceedings here. They’re probably out walking the dog or sitting down for breakfast with their kids. But I want them to know that help is on the way. That their government is going to give one final push to get us all over the finish line.

"I want the American people to know that we are going to get through this. And someday soon, our businesses will reopen and our economy will reopen and life will reopen. We will end this terrible plague and we will travel again and send our kids to school again and be together, again. Our job right now is to help our country get from this stormy present to that hopeful future. And it starts with voting AYE on the legislation before us.

"Vote yes on the American Rescue Plan. Vote yes.

"And before I yield the floor, let me express my deepest gratitude to all my colleagues who went through a long, long day and the staff of the committees and the personal Senate offices, who worked so hard to put this legislation together. Let me especially thank the floor staff, the clerks, the cafeteria workers, custodial staff, and the Capitol Police and National Guard. Many of them have worked for as many as 36 hours straight.

"And of course, one more thank you to my great and wonderful staff. I will thank them all by name at a later date because I want everyone to awake and alert when I do.

"I yield the floor."

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