New York is expected to received billions in needed funding as a $1.9 trillion relief bill races toward President Joe Biden's desk, but first the House needs to approval changes made by the Senate, which its expected to do early this week.
In addition to $1,400 direct payments to Americans making less than $75,000 per year and an expansion of unemployment benefits through the summer, the American Rescue Plan is tentatively set to bring billions to New York schools, entertainment venues, as well as restaurants and other small businesses.
"Nearly every aspect of New York that has been hurting" from the pandemic will get receive financial assistance from the American Rescue Plan, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday.
Nearly $24 billion of those funds are earmarked to various levels of government in the state. An estimated $12.5 billion goes to the state, $6 billion to New York City and almost $4 billion divided among counties in the state, according to Schumer. Those dollars are on top of other aid reserved for transit, vaccine distribution, housing assistance and more.
"The deal we reached with the help of a new president, and a new democratic Senate marks real relief to the tune of $100 billion for workers, families, healthcare, small businesses, including our hard-hit industries like restaurants, and New York-the things we need to support in order to weather this crisis and then work to recover," Schumer said.
The country's largest public transit system will get a boost from the current bill -- $6.5 billion is set aside for the MTA. Transit leaders have warned of budget shortfalls that could lead to fare hikes without government aid. The Long Island Rail Road cutting back service starting Monday due to continued drop in ridership.
"This funding is crucial as we work to bring back ridership and recover from the pandemic. Critically, it will also further offset COVID's impact and help protect against devastating service cuts and layoffs in the years ahead where we still face deficits," MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye said in a statement Saturday.
Despite two aid packages passed last year that delivered an estimated $8 billion to the MTA, leadership discussed service cuts between 40-50 percent across the board and in February approved a toll increase on bridges and tunnels of 7 percent.
Almost half of federal aid to be directed to New York, approximately $44 billion, would be divided between the $1,400 direct payments to eligible residents and the expansion of ongoing weekly unemployment benefits. Another $12 billion will go to the safe reopening of K-12 schools as well as colleges and universities.
Businesses hard-hit will have another shot at much needed funding. The American Rescue Plan would create a new relief fund for restaurants to cover payroll, mortgages and rent, PPE, paid leave, supplies and other expenses.
Low-income families will get a boost from the bill as well thanks to an expansion of the Child Tax Credit. Families previously left out will now get access to monthly payments of $250 per child or $300 for children under six.
The relief bill is expected to go back before the House on Tuesday.