UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion stimulus aid package Thursday, providing direct cash relief to many Americans.
It will also dole out $350 billion in relief to local governments.
The breakdown of the American Rescue Plan money to be provided is as follows:
- $176 billion for vaccinations and healthcare
- $424 billion for $1,400 stimulus checks
- $350 billion for struggling state and local governments
- $246 billion for unemployment insurance
- $219 billion for children and childcare so parents can return to work
- $178 billion to help reopen schools
- $109 billion for farmers, and small businesses
- $28 billion for restaurants and live venues
- $40 billion for renters and homeowners who need assistance
- $47 billion for FEMA and disaster relief
CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff has more on what it will mean on Long Island.
Village Hall in Farmingdale looks more like a fortress than a small seat of government. There are plastic dividers installed at the front desk and in the court room, plus COVID-19 safety features at every turn.
All of it is costing local government dearly at a time revenue has dried up.
“It’s dead. It went down and flat,” Farmingdale Village Mayor Ralph Ekstrand said.
Ekstrand said the village lost hundreds of thousand of dollars as building permits and parking revenue disappeared. It is now welcoming the American Rescue Plan.
“It would be a godsend. This will certainly affect what we have to do with the tax rate,” Ekstrand said.
New York state will receive $12.6 billion and of that hundreds of millions will go to Long Island.
Congressman Tom Suozzi said it is a game-changer for decimated county budgets.
“The hardest-hit governments were those governments that had their sales tax crushed,” Suozzi said.
The money will reimburse counties for coronavirus pandemic services like testing and vaccination sites.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was bracing for massive layoffs when he pleaded for funds last summer.
“The county is facing a budget catastrophe due to COVID-19,” Bellone said.
He now says the federal aid will avert disastrous cuts.
“Potentially impacting public safety, transportation and contract agencies delivering critical services, and now we can confidently say those cuts aren’t happening,” Bellone said Thursday.
In Nassau County, it’s a shot in the arm that will also help schools and businesses.
“Our economy took a huge hit down here. Our schools to a hit, our businesses took a hit. We want to make sure that we can get everyone up and running, get recovered, get back to normal, and get society cranking again,” County Executive Laura Curran said.
It’s timing, officials said, in budget season. The last thing struggling business owners need are higher taxes.
“Anything, obviously, will help to get us help for the payroll, paying back bills. A lot of people are in debt right now,” said John Kanaras, owner of the Whiskey Down Diner.
The money will be doled out to the state, which, in turn, will dole it out to municipalities based on population.
Long Island’s two Republican members of Congress voted against the bill. Rep. Andrew Garbarino said in part that Long Island needs more help that, “this bill incentivizes schools to remain closed, prohibits states from providing tax relief, and does not reinstate the SALT deduction.”