ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Help is on the way.
That’s the message from Sen. Chuck Schumer following the U.S. Senate’s approval of the American Rescue Plan. Among the many stimulus measures included in the relief package — which still needs House approval and President Joe Biden’s signature — is $12.56 million for New York state’s government and $10.8 billion for counties, cities, towns and villages.
“After fighting this pandemic on the frontlines, New York’s counties and municipalities were loud and clear: they needed help and they needed it now to keep frontline workers on the job and prevent brutal service cuts. And today, to all towns, villages, cities, and counties throughout New York I say: help is on the way,” said Sen. Schumer Monday. “As Majority Leader, I was proud to make state and local funding my top priority as municipalities throughout New York and The American Rescue Plan will deliver the much deserved relief for New York’s local governments – to the tune of $23.8 billion –to get New York’s municipalities the resources and funding they need to prevent layoff, to keep essential services running, and to keep our Main Streets alive and able to rebound when we emerge from the pandemic.”
In the Finger Lakes region, each county is set to receive:
- Genesee County: $11.11 million
- Livingston Count: $12.2 million
- Monroe County: $143.86 million
- Ontario County: $21.29 million
- Orleans County: $7.83 million
- Seneca County: $6.6 million
- Wayne County: $17.44 million
- Wyoming County: $7.73 million
- Yates County: $4.83 million
- Finger Lakes regional total: $232.89 million
These figures are subject to change based on House approval. According to Sen. Schumer’s office, funds may be used by state and local governments for:
- Costs associated with responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency or its negative economic impacts, including but not limited to, assistance to households, small businesses, and nonprofits or aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality.
- To support workers performing essential work during the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing premium pay to eligible workers or by providing grants to eligible employers that have eligible workers who perform essential work.
- To cover revenue losses caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- To make necessary investments in water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.
“The American Rescue Plan will deliver immediate and critical help to the families, workers, businesses and state and local governments that have felt the brunt of the economic downturn from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said. “I thank Sen Schumer for listening to the American people about what they need to make it through this trying time, and for his leadership and determination that has delivered a plan that will provide real, tangible results for the people of Monroe County and New York State. Funding provided by this plan will help vaccination distribution, hire additional vaccinators, give struggling businesses the chance to survive, further address the needs of our schools and lift the weight of fear and worry from families facing eviction, foreclosure and food insecurity.”
“Our City, and all local governments across the country, have been hit hard with both revenue shortfalls and expenses related to the pandemic,” Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said. “Just like so many households, Rochester’s finances have been stressed and I’m grateful for Senator Schumer’s leadership in delivering assistance for our city and all the other localities across the nation that needed a boost. Working with his congressional colleagues and President Biden, Chuck Schumer did what he does best — fighting for all of us here in New York. Thank you Senator Schumer for ensuring our city has the resources to keep fighting for our neighbors across every one of Rochester’s neighborhoods.”
From Sen. Schumer’s office:
Funds can also be used for relief to small businesses, hard-hit industries, and infrastructure investments to help rebuild local economies. Schumer says the state and local funding will keep local economies afloat and essential services running for communities, including the roll out of vaccines. It is estimated that New York State’s agencies and authorities will receive over $30 billion from the American Rescue Plan, on top of the funds from the state and local fiscal relief fund.
The senator explained that the nation’s economic recovery depends on the survival of state and local governments, which have been forced to make substantial layoff across the nation as they struggle with revenue shortfalls caused by the COVID downturn. New York State lost billions of dollars in revenue compared to pre-pandemic years and counties and other municipalities across the state have already had to cut thousands of jobs due to massive budget shortfalls.
Concerned about the layoffs of public health care workers, firefighters, sanitation workers, teachers, and other vital public servants across New York, Schumer has fought since the beginning of the pandemic to deliver financial resources to help all counties, cities, towns, and villages recover. In addition to securing $150+ billion for New York in previous COVID relief bill negotiations, Schumer visited the Southern Tier and Western New York and pushed the previous administration to provide robust state and local aid that would benefit all Americans. After months of effort, the senator also successfully called for FEMA to provide 100% cost sharing to New York state, delivering billions more for the state to cover costs related to the pandemic.
The state and local allocation for New York in the Schumer-driven American Rescue Plan will help local governments avoid further layoffs and local tax and fee increases that would place a heavier burden on families and small businesses in crisis.