Schumer: New York Will Get $54 Billion In New COVID Bill

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TOMPKINS COUNTY, NY (WSKG) – A new COVID relief bill will bring approximately $54 billion to New York state.

Describing the bill Monday, Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, “It’s not a stimulus bill. It’s an emergency survival bill and we’re going to fight for more dollars later.”

In the funding coming to New York state includes $20 billion for small businesses in a new Payroll Protection Plan. Schumer said that money will come in the form of forgivable loans as long as businesses continue to pay their employees.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) during a virtual press conference about the latest COVID relief bill, December 21, 2020. (screen capture, Celia Clarke/WSKG)

The bill also includes money to help prevent evictions and foreclosures. Schumer said $1.3 billion goes toward rent and mortgage assistance. The funds will not stop all evictions.

“This is for people who don’t have income due to COVID,” Schumer said. “They lost their jobs, they’re only working part-time. It’s quite flexible.”

He explained the funding goes to local governments so people will need to contact their local governments to find out how to access the assistance.

The bill orders the funds to be sent to state and local authorities quickly, but gave no specific time frame for exactly when it will reach people in need.

The CDC federal eviction moratorium will also be extended until January 31, 2021. It supersedes any state eviction moratorium that is shorter.

For individuals, Schumer said individuals can expect another round of direct assistance.

“$600 per person. Husband and wife or a couple would get $1,200. A family of four $2,400,” Schumer said. “I would have been for 1,200 each, but, this is as much as Leader [Mitch] McConnell would go for.”

There will also be additional unemployment insurance benefits, but not the $600 a week that Democrats had wanted.

“It was estimated that had we not passed this bill a million New Yorkers would have gone off unemployment the day after Christmas,” said Schumer.

The new bill does include new Payroll Protection funds for small businesses like restaurants. There is $1.6 billion for COVID relief funding to cover vaccine distribution, contact tracing, testing, isolation and other COVID mitigation measures. Half of that is for New York City while the other half will be dispersed across the rest of the state.

New York childcare providers will have access to $465 million through block grants to cover increased operational costs because of the COVID-19 virus.

Schumer said it should have been more for states, individuals and businesses.

A multi-trillion dollar House bill was passed earlier this year, but stalled in the Senate, something Schumer blamed on McConnell.

“That had more in it. That had more for state and local governments, more money for restaurants. It’s a better bill. Why didn’t this happen? Two words: Mitch McConnell,” the Democrat said.

Schumer said he will be pushing for more assistance after the Biden Administration takes control in January.