House Passes Third Package of COVID-19 Relief for the Lower Hudson Valley
Congresswoman Lowey led the House in negotiations with Senate Republicans and Trump Administration to protect New York families and small businesses
Tens of Billions in Federal Assistance will Help NY Stem the Spread and Recover
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, served as one of the lead negotiators on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a bill that will deliver billions of dollars to workers and families across the nation. This bipartisan legislation passed in the Senate on Wednesday, March 25, and in the House of Representatives today, and the President is expected to sign the legislation soon.
“Never in our lifetime have we seen a health threat as pervasive as the one we’re experiencing right now,” said Congresswoman Lowey. “Many throughout our community have lost loved ones to the coronavirus, and fear, anxiety, and uncertainty seem to dictate our every action. Congress is coming together in a historic, bipartisan way to meet this crisis head-on and ease some of the burden on our communities. This legislation is a far cry from what Senate Republicans introduced earlier this week. It is much improved to help families and American workers first. To address the public health crisis, it will provide increased testing capacity, personal protective equipment for health workers and funding for hospitals, health care providers, and research and development on vaccines and therapeutics. To protect our economy and the services families rely on, it also provides much-needed resources for small businesses, schools, and local governments. The Lower Hudson Valley is resilient, and I am pleased that we will have the support of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal assistance to help the region recover from this pandemic.”
Funds to protect New Yorker’s health and economic security include:
Support for healthcare workers and facilities
- $100 million for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for first responders
- Billions directly for New York hospitals out of $100 billion nationally for equipment, supplies, staffing, and construction
- $37.3 million for New York City and New York State out of $750 million in CDC Public Health Emergency Preparedness funding to assist health agencies with strategic planning and strengthen public health preparedness capabilities
- $45 million for New York of the $850 million for Byrne-Justice Assistance Grants to support state and local police departments to purchase PPE and medical items, support overtime for officers and meet other local needs. Based on FY2019 formula awards, estimates include:
- $27 million for New York State
- $18 million local governments eligible for Byrne-Justice Assistance Grants
Financial assistance for middle class, working families, and retirees
- Estimated $15.5 billion in direct payments to New Yorkers. Individuals, including retired and unemployed New Yorkers, making up to $75,000 will receive $1,200 payments, $2,400 for couples, plus $500 per child. The payments are decreased over these income levels and phase out at $99,000/individual and $198,000/couple.
- Estimated $15 billion for New York in Unemployment Insurance (UI) Benefits. This package bolsters UI benefits by providing a $600 increase per week to each worker’s base UI benefits, extending an additional 13 weeks of federally-funded UI, and expanding access for part-time, self-employed, and gig economy workers.
- More than $2.1 million in Emergency Solutions Grants for Westchester County of $192 million awarded to New York. Funding will support families and individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as additional homeless assistance to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
Child care and education assistance
- $162 million for New York from $3.5 billion for Child Care and Development Block Grants
- $750 million for Head Start emergency staffing needs and to keep children safe & learning while their parents work
- $2 billion at least from the Education Stabilization Fund. A new $30.75 billion State Fiscal Stabilization Fund for Education will be created to provide states with flexibility to support elementary and secondary schools and public postsecondary education.
- Estimated $1.037 billion for New York’s K-12 public school districts
- Estimated $890.3 million for New York institutions of higher education
- $164 million to New York State for K-12 and/or higher education needs
Protections for small businesses
- Billions in Small Business Administration forgivable loans and grants to assist New York’s 2.2 million small businesses and tens of thousands of non-profits, including religious-affiliated entities.
Assistance to state and local operations
- $7.5 billion of $150 billion State and Local Government Coronavirus Relief Fund, including $168 million for Westchester County.
- Community Development Block Grant funds including $518,991 for White Plains, $963,093 for Rockland County, and $2,183,368 for communities in Westchester County.
- $4.27 million in Emergency Management Performance Grants to support state and local emergency managers in implementing logistics and supply chains related to food, water, shelter, healthcare, and transportation.
- $720 million of $10 billion in airport grants to support operations and workers in the New York metropolitan area, including $32 million for Westchester County Airport.
This bill builds upon Congresswoman Lowey’s success in leading the passage of two emergency supplemental spending packages that were signed into law by President Trump. The most recent package, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, included $1 billion in grants to states for the administration of UI benefits. New York has already received $32,375,857 in Emergency Administrative Grants for the administration of unemployment insurance. That legislation also included up to $6.7 billion in temporary increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) payments for Medicaid for New York, by far the highest amount provided for any state. The Army Corps of Engineers has also begun a $350 million Mission Assignment with funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency Disaster Relief Fund to expand hospital capacity at multiple sites, including the Westchester County Center.
A summary of the appropriations provisions of the bill, prepared by the Democratic staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is here.