NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York state and New York City seem to be in line for billions of dollars in federal aid contained in the new stimulus bill being negotiated in Washington — money that will help with looming COVID-related related budget deficits.
As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reports, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer walked onto the floor of the Senate chamber today to deliver what could turn out to be good news for New Yorkers — good news for Gov. Andrew Cuomo and good news for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who are facing ginormous budget deficits.
“We are putting the final touches on what would be the largest stimulus in the history of the country, with the exception of the CARES Act,” Schumer said.
Gov. Cuomo, with a $15 billion budget hole, and Mayor de Blasio, with a nearly $4 billion gap, have been bellyaching about the fact that the $900 billion stimulus package still being negotiated has no direct local aid.
But a source close to Senate Democrats and House Republicans tells CBS2 lawmakers have found a backdoor way to send billions home to New York.
In addition to direct stimulus checks of $600, sources say the bill will:
- Extend enhanced unemployment insurance
- Secure another round of aid for New York’s small businesses and restaurants
- Send $4 billion to the MTA
- Earmark $6 billion for education programs in the city and state
- Include billions for vaccine distribution and COVID health funding
- And include the possibility of FEMA aid
Sources say Sen. Schumer hopes this funding will serve as a bridge to the Biden administration and the hope that the new administration will look favorably about aid to localities.
But that didn’t stop Mayor de Blasio from voicing concern. After all, he has to propose a new fiscal plan next month. Without significant aid, it could mean thousands of layoffs from sanitation workers, who have already taken a hit, to police and emergency workers.
“Part of why I’m so agitated about the current negotiation is I don’t have a guarantee there is going to be another stimulus,” de Blasio said.
Governor Cuomo is also worried because some of the state’s gap closing steps are sure to include tax hikes- but what’s not clear is which taxes and how much.
Sources say negotiations in Washington could go into the weekend.
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