May 12, 2020 By Allie Griffin
A new coronavirus stimulus package was unveiled by Congressional Democrats Tuesday that would provide billions in relief funds to help state and local governments.
U.S. Representative Nita Lowey and Senator Charles Schumer announced the Democrat-backed bill today that would provide $67 billion in aid to New York municipalities– including $34.4 billion to the state, $17.2 billion for New York City as well as another $15.1 billion to counties, villages and townships.
The legislation, dubbed the Heroes Act, comes after Governor Andrew Cuomo and Democrats across the country have called on Congress to enact a relief bill that would provide funds to state and local governments.
Many municipalities are in economic turmoil. New York City’s tax revenue, for instance, is projected to drop by $7.4 billion across fiscal years 2020 and 2021.
The passage of the Heroes Act would help state and local governments retain their essential workers, such as healthcare workers and first responders.
Both the governor and mayor have been warning New Yorkers that they might be forced to cut funds for public hospitals, medical centers and other public services if they don’t receive relief funds.
“Our state, county and local governments have ratcheted up their spending to confront the COVID challenge, even while the virus has ripped a hole in their budgets due to collapsing revenue,” Sen. Schumer said in a statement.
“Providing urgent relief to state, county and local governments is not an abstract concept – it is keeping cops, firefighters, bus drivers and more on the job; it is preserving vital services during a pandemic; and it is staving off tax hikes at the worst possible time for the economy,” he added.
The legislation is part of a $3 billion stimulus package that would also provide middle and lower income Americans with another $1,200 stimulus check; hazard pay for essential workers; forgiveness of student debt; and an extension to the $600 weekly unemployment program.
The House is expect to vote on the package as soon as Friday. But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) said that their is no urgency to pass it and Republicans have expressed hesitancy in supporting it.