COVID Stimulus Bill To Send Nearly $1 Billion To Long Island

In total, the bill doles out $350 billion to local governments. CBS2's Carolyn Gusoff reports.

Video Transcript

- As you know, President Biden signed the $1.9 trillion stimulus aid package today, providing direct cash relief for many Americans.

- It will also give out $350 billion in relief to local governments. CBS 2's Carolyn Gusoff with more now on what it will mean on Long Island.

CAROYLN GUSOFF: Village Hall in Farmingdale looks more like a fortress than a small seat of government. Plexiglas installed at the front desk, the courtroom, and COVID safety features at every turn. All of it, costing local government dearly at a time revenue dried up.

RALPH EKSTAND: Instead, it's-- it went down and flat.

- Mayor Ekstrand says, the village lost hundreds of thousands of dollars as building permits and parking revenue disappeared. A small village, now, welcoming the American Rescue Plan.

- It would be a Godsend. This will certainly affect what we have to do with the tax rate.

- New York state will receive $12.6 billion, and of that nearly, $1 billion for Long Island. Congressman Tom Suozzi says, it's a game changer for decimated county budgets.

TOM SUOZZI: The hardest hit governments were those governments that had their sales tax crushed.

- Money will reimburse counties for pandemic services, like COVID testing and vaccination sites. Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone was bracing for massive layoffs when he pleaded for funds last summer.

STEVE BELLONE: The county is facing a budget catastrophe due to COVID-19.

- He now says, the federal aid will avert disastrous cuts.

STEVE BELLONE: Potentially impacting public safety, and transportation, and contract agencies delivering critical services. And now, we can confidently say, those cuts aren't happening.

- In Nassau, it's a shot in the arm that will also help schools and businesses.

LAURA CURRAN: Our economy took a huge hit down here. Our schools took 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.

- Good timing, say, officials in budget season. The last thing struggling business owners need are higher taxes.

JOHN KANARAS: Anything, obviously, would help to get us help to the payroll, paying back bills. You know, a lot of people are in debt right now.

CAROLYN GUSOFF: The money will be distributed to the state, which, in turn, will dole out funds to local governments based on their population. In Uniondale, Long Island, Carolyn Gusoff, CBS 2 News.

- Long Island's two Republican members of Congress voted against the bill. Andrew Garbarino said, in part, that Long Island needs more help, that this "bill," rather, "this bill incentivizes schools to remain closed, prohibits states from providing tax relief, and does not reinstate the SALT deduction."