STANDING AT THE COUNTY-RUN MASS VACCINATION SITE, SCHUMER MAKES HIS FIRST TRIP BACK TO BROOME COUNTY AS MAJORITY LEADER TO ANNOUNCE MASSIVE WINS FOR THE REGION IN AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN; WITH INFLUX OF SHOTS COMING TO THE SOUTHERN TIER AND OVER $500 MILLION EN ROUTE TO BROOME, TIOGA FAMILIES, WORKERS AND SMALL BUSINESSES, SCHUMER LAYS OUT PLAN FOR SOUTHERN TIER RECOVERY
American Rescue Passage Meant Millions In Vaccine, Small Business, & State And Local Funding Coming To Southern Tier, Schumer Lays Out Plan For Southern Tier Recovery; Final Deal Also Included Funds For Struggling Businesses Restaurants, Swift Deposits of $1,400 Direct Payments For Thousands Of ST Residents, Rental Assistance, Pension Relief, And Historic Child Tax Credit Expansion
Deal Delivers $141 Million In Flexible Funding To Broome & Tioga Governments, Some Of The Funding Can Be Used To ‘Supercharge’ County Vaccine Distribution
Schumer To Bing: Help Is On The Way
Following his successful steering to passage of the broader American Rescue Plan and standing at the SUNY Broome Ice Rink, an active Broome County vaccination center, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer detailed plans that would ‘supercharge’ vaccination efforts in Broome County and across the Southern Tier. Specifically, Schumer explained, local governments are able to use any of the state and local funding they receive to further supplement their vaccine distribution plans.
Schumer also announced that in anticipation of the incoming federal dollars, Broome County has ramped up staff hours at the SUNY Broome Ice Rink vaccination site and expects to add more appointment times as New York state expands vaccine eligibility to all adult residents by April 6th.
“The people of New York have had a tough, tough year amid the pandemic but the light at the end of the tunnel has always been centered on access to a free vaccine for all New Yorkers, and the good news is: lots of New Yorkers want a vaccine,” said Senator Schumer. “Now, the better news is: more money is on the way to supercharge the last stretch of the marathon to vaccinate all adults who want the vaccine.”
Schumer added, “I made sure this relief bill would help us in our final sprint towards total vaccine access, in the form of flexible state and local funding that could be used for everything from filling budget gaps to getting shots in arms. More access and more shots means a quicker recovery, and that’s what we want.”
These funds are in addition to the over $100 million Schumer secured for New York State in last December’s omnibus for vaccine activities such as setting up vaccination sites, purchasing PPE and paying health care workers to administer vaccines.
Schumer also discussed the new restaurant relief fund, modeled on the widely supported, bipartisan RESTAURANTS Act, that will provide a down-payment of $28.6 billion in 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 coronavirus pandemic. The senator explained that 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.
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 Southern Tier residents, on top of aid for 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 Southern Tier’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, which is especially important for Broome County’s 20% of children living in poverty. 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. New York families are estimated to receive $7.03 billion from 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. New York families are estimated to receive over $786 million from enhanced EITC.
- Sends $22 billion in direct payments of $1,400 to over 9 million New York households. That includes approximately $842 million in direct payments for more than an estimated 338,000 households in the Southern Tier. More than an estimated 87,000 households in Broome County will receive approximately $218 million, and an estimated 22,000 households in Tioga County will receive $55 million.
As part of the deal, more than $23.8 billion with more than $334 million going to the Southern Tier – including $48.32 million for the city of Binghamton, $31.94 million for the Town of Union, $39.94 million for Broome County, and $2.05 million for the Town of Owego.
With over 50% of Broome County rental units currently occupied by tenants spending 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.
Schumer was able to secure more than $7 Billion in transit funding for New York, with $11.6 million going towards the Southern Tier’s transit agencies and $5,891,093 for Southern Tier airports.
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 Broome and Tioga Counties—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 Southern Tier residents still need real help to get through this.”