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American Rescue Plan To Bring Over $19 Million For Otsego County’s Colleges, Universities, and Students; Millions More Dollars Already Arriving In $1,400 Direct Payments For Thousands of Otsego Residents, Funding For Restaurants & Live Venues, K-12 Schools, State & Local Aid, Rental Assistance, Pension Relief, And Historic Child Tax Credit Expansion 

Deal Is On Top Of $5 Billion Schumer Has Secured For NY’s Higher Ed Institutions In The Past Year; American Rescue Plan To Deliver $2.6 Billion In Total To NY’s Universities & Colleges; Schumer was joined by Dennis Craig, Acting President of SUNY Oneonta, Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich, President of Hartwick College, Gary Herzig, Mayor of the City of Oneonta, and David Bliss, Chair of the Otsego County Legislature. 

Schumer: Otsego County To Get Big Slice Of $100B Pie

In a meeting yesterday with local leaders and representatives from institutions of higher education, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer personally detailed specifics from the American Rescue Plan he led to passage in the U.S. Senate. Schumer was joined by Dennis Craig, Acting President of SUNY Oneonta, Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich, President of Hartwick College, Gary Herzig, Mayor of the City of Oneonta, and David Bliss, Chair of the Otsego County Legislature.

Schumer explained that institutions of higher education in Otsego County will be receiving over $19 million of the $2.6 billion he secured for New York universities and colleges in the American Rescue Plan. Specifically, SUNY Oneonta will receive an estimated $15,766,000 and Hartwick College will receive an estimated $3,377,000.  

“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 the federal government’s responsibility to address and overcome. In prioritizing the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff, New York’s higher education institutions, like SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College, have ripped massive holes in their budgets and are now facing down financial devastation – and we simply can’t let that happen,” said Senator Schumer. “As Majority Leader, I was proud to make funding for New York’s higher education institutions and students a top priority, and yesterday in Oneonta I made sure to connect with local leaders to discuss how the much-needed $19.14 million to Otsego County’s universities and colleges and $2.6 billion total to New York could be used to help our world-class institutions through the crisis, get students safely back to classes, and get campuses across the state back to ‘normal’.”

Schumer said that public and non-profit 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.

The $2.6 billion Schumer secured for New York universities and colleges in the American Rescue Plan is on top of the $2.4 billion Schumer secured for New York’s institutions of higher education in the past COVID relief bills. In total, Schumer has secured over $5 billion for New York’s colleges and universities in the past year.

“I was pleased to meet with Senator Schumer and fellow local leaders to discuss the needs of higher education and our regional economy. This is an important conversation for Oneonta, where our colleges are among the largest employers. I appreciate the senator’s time and am encouraged to have his support as we work to move SUNY Oneonta and the region forward,” said Dennis Craig, Acting President of SUNY Oneonta.

“Senator Schumer’s advocacy for the needs of Otsego County and the needs of Hartwick College students is inspiring.  He leads by example and in a manner that instills confidence in government. Leadership matters and the Senator demonstrated his leadership again today by making it a point to hear directly from those he represents. It was a pleasure to have the time with him,” said Dr. Margaret L. Drugovich, President of Hartwick College.

“I thank Senator Schumer for taking the time to listen to the needs of the people of the City of Oneonta as they continue to struggle with the impacts of the pandemic.  The Senator's support of the American Rescue Plan will help our families and businesses to survive and then thrive as we emerge from pain of COVID,” said Gary Herzig, Mayor of the City of Oneonta.

“I want to thank Senator Schumer for his visit today and for his leadership in obtaining direct federal aid to Otsego County and local municipalities from the American Rescue Plan. The inclusion of this critical funding would not have happened without the leadership and continuous advocacy of Senate Majority Leader Schumer. We look forward to working with him on expanding our broadband infrastructure, which is a priority for both the Senator and myself,” said David Bliss, Chair of the Otsego County Legislature.

Additionally, Schumer detailed the American Rescue Plan’s tentative impact to New York as more than $100 Billion dollars. The deal includes the additional round of direct stimulus checks for tens of thousands of Otsego County residents, on top of aid to help schools safely reopen, vaccine distribution, critical pension relief, an expanded Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, new rental assistance, agriculture and nutrition assistance, direct local fiscal relief to revive the local economy and help solve the County’s budget woes, a dedicated relief fund for the struggling restaurant industry, all of which adds up to essential relief for countless families, workers, restaurants, more independent live venues and small businesses across the state.

Schumer also highlighted that researchers have said that the American Rescue Plan will cut the child poverty rate in half. This plan:

  • Makes the Child Tax Credit (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. It is estimated that New York families will receive $7.03 billion from the enhanced CTC.
  • Strengthens the Earned Income Tax Credit (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. It is estimated that New York families will receive over $786 million from the enhanced EITC.
  • Sends $22 billion in direct payments of $1,400 to over 9 million New York households. That includes approximately $68 million in direct payments for more than an estimated 27,000 households in Otsego County.

As part of the deal, more than $23.8 billion will flow directly to New York state government(s) with more than $11.54 million going to Otsego County alone and an additional $1.53 million to the city of Oneonta. New York State government will receive over $12 billion, solving the state’s budget woes.

With over 7,300 of Otsego County’s households expected to spend more than 30% of their income on housing, Schumer explained that rental assistance, included in the American Rescue Plan, is also a necessary tool of fighting poverty.

The legislation also delivers critical relief for suffering multiemployer pension plans – which have experienced significant additional challenges as a result of this economic crisis – without cutting benefits retirees have earned. 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.

“As Majority Leader, I fought hard to ensure this deal sent real relief to the tune of $100 billion to New York for workers, families, farmers, healthcare, small businesses, including our hard-hit industries like restaurants, and communities in Otsego County—the things we need to support in order to weather this crisis and then work to recover,” added Schumer. “This marks the second biggest stimulus bill in the nation’s history—second to the CARES Act—and it comes just in time, because Otsego residents still need real help to get through this.”