GHENT—On March 10, the office of Congressman Antonio Delgado (D-19) issued a press release saying that the House had voted to pass the American Rescue Plan, which included funds for municipalities in his district. The plan includes Rep. Delgado’s bill, the Direct Support for Communities Act, which establishes a formula for local aid that delivers $130.2 billion to counties and municipalities across the United States. President Joe Biden signed the $1.9 trillion stimulus plan into law March 11.
According to Rep. Delgado’s release, Columbia County could receive about $11.5 million. Information from the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) says the plan includes $3.8 billion for 57 counties ($2.2 billion) of New York State outside New York City and New York City ($1.6 billion). The amounts are based on population. Columbia County’s funding is estimated at $11,622,225.
Under Rep. Delgado’s Direct Support for Communities Act formula, and according to the House Committee on Oversight estimates, towns and villages in the 19th district would get over $160 million in relief funding. The district includes all of Columbia County and all or parts of 10 other counties.
Senator Chuck Schumer (D) released information about the plan with allocation projections for towns and villages in the state. That information is at www.schumer.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/ARPNYLocal Aid31221.pdf
County Board of Supervisors Chair Matt Murell (R-Stockport) said in a phone interview this week that he doesn’t have the details yet on how the funds can be spent. He said as soon as he has more information about the funds he will share it. Information on the county can be found at www.columbiacountyny.com
Information from NYSAC says the funding will go directly to municipalities and that “this funding can be used to respond to the public health emergency caused by the coronavirus as well as address the economic devastation that came with it, including assistance to households, small businesses and nonprofits, aid to impacted industries such as tourism, travel and hospitality. The funding may also be used to assist governments in providing services and making investment in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure.” Senator Schumer’s press release says that “funds may not be used by states or localities to cover the costs of pension funds. States may not use funds to offset a reduction in taxes.”
According to Rep. Delgado’s release the federal plan also includes:
• $1,400 direct stimulus checks
• An increase in the Child Tax Credit to $3,000 per child and $3,600 for a child under age 6
• $20 billion to establish a national Covid-19 Vaccination Program
• $130 billion to help K-12 schools re-open safely
• $39 billion to support colleges and universities
• $39 billion for child care and early learning
• An extension of unemployment benefits and exemption of up to $10,200 from federal taxes
• $27.5 billion for emergency rental assistance
• $10 billion to help homeowners struggling to afford their housing
• $3.6 billion to maintain and improve food and agricultural supply chain resilience
• Increases Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding and expands eligibility for the program
• $500 million in rural initiatives to help hospitals
• $14.5 billion for VA health care and to speed up benefits
• $50 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund
• $1.4 billion for Older Americans Act funding to support community-based and in-house services for older adults
• $4 billion for expanding behavioral and mental health services.
“I am honored and humbled that my bill to deliver this long overdue funding to counties, cities, towns, and villages is headed to the president’s desk along with meaningful relief for families, farmers, small business owners, students, school districts, and veterans. I am proud to have advocated for our local leaders in Washington and played an instrumental role in the crafting of the American Rescue Plan,” Rep. Delgado said in the press release.
“This is a big deal,” Keith Kanaga, chair of the Columbia County Democratic Committee (CCDC), said in a press release. “The impact the Rescue Plan will have can’t be overstated—we’re talking about money in the pockets of families who have groceries to buy and rent to pay.”
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email