U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today (May 1) announced major victories in the bipartisan federal funding bill that will greatly help Upstate New York.
Schumer said these victories will boost the economy and support vital programs, including: funding for the Great Lake Restoration Initiative (GLRI), funding to confront the opioid epidemic, funding HOME/CDBG Program, critical railroad safety programs, support for education and higher-education and many more. Schumer provided statements for several major areas in which the budget will be a major boost for Upstate New Yorkers.
The bill includes the following victories for Upstate New York:
HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME)/ Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program
“Investing in strong neighborhoods is an important victory to help economic development efforts in Upstate neighborhoods by providing homeownership, rental assistance, and housing rehabilitation funds. We were able to secure $950 million for HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) funding and $3 billion for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. Without this critical funding, already vulnerable communities could have been devastated,” said Senator Schumer. “That is why I fought with every fiber of my body to prevent the proposed cuts to the HOME programs and to fund the CDBG program. This funding means local governments and communities will now have the resources they need to provide families and their children with safe and affordable housing options and can continue the neighborhood revitalization efforts that are critical to local economic development.”
Opioid & Prescription Drug Prevention & Treatment Programs
“For too long, heroin and opioid use, fatal overdoses, and drug-related crimes have been on the rise, plaguing Upstate New York communities,” said Senator Schumer. “New York deserves every federal resource possible to combat the growing scourge of opioid drug abuse and trafficking. That is why, I went to bat for New York and pushed my colleagues to include this vital funding to combat the opioid epidemic in the final federal funding bill. The federal government must continue to invest in new and innovative ways to combat heroin and opioid use and tackle this challenge head-on.”
Specifically, the agreement provides $3.8 billion, a $35 million increase from last year, for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which leads our nation’s treatment efforts to address the opioid and heroin crisis gripping communities throughout New York and the rest of the nation. In each of the last two fiscal years, New York received more than $111 million from SAMHSA block grants.
Additionally, the agreement funds nearly $450 million in efforts through several departments and agencies specifically targeted to attack the opioid/heroin crisis.
· $160.5 million from the Department of Justice for interdiction, enforcement and treatment programs;
· $112 million for the Centers for Disease Control for preventing prescription drug overdoses
· $56 million from SAMHSA for grants to expand access to drug treatment services for those with a dependence on prescription opioids or heroin.
· $20 million for programs newly authorized under the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.
· $50 million to Community Health Centers for services to prevent and treat addiction in underserved areas throughout New York and the nation. There are 65 CHCs in New York, serving nearly 2 million patients in 2015 and employing more than 15,000 New Yorkers.
· $50 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs for additional funding for treatment and prevention.
Great Lake Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Funding
“It is imperative that we continue properly monitor, preserve and rehabilitate our Great Lakes so residents and visitors can enjoy these invaluable Upstate NY resources for years to come,” said Senator Schumer, who noted that they are also a source of drinking water. “ We need to continue to protect New York’s most vital water resources – like Lake Ontario and Lake Erie which remains a top priority of mine. As Senator, I will continue to fight year after year to secure the highest level of funding for the GLRI program. I am optimistic that this federal investment will allow for more fishing and tourism opportunities, which means new jobs and millions of dollars new revenue.”
Railroad Safety Including Positive Train Control (PTC)
“Positive Train Control can help prevent fatal crashes and derailments – and so it’s of the utmost importance that all of our rail lines have this life-saving technology installed as soon as possible. That is why, I fought so hard to secure nearly $200 million to help pay the cost of PTC implementation in cases where governments and taxpayers would have to bear the brunt of the expense,” said Senator Schumer. “We need to start learning our lessons now before we see more tragic derailments like we recently saw in Philadelphia.”
Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund
“This bill contains an important victory for updating New York’s aging water infrastructure and job creation: we were able to secure $1.9 billion for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund and $863 million for the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. This federal funding will help provide critical support to water and sewer projects across Upstate, many of which are long overdue. New York has some of the oldest sewer systems in the country, and the Clean Water Fund can be leveraged to affordably invest in water infrastructure,” said Senator Schumer. “In any given year, we have hundreds of sewer projects in Upstate New York that are in need of funding, so I was proud to go to bat for this program to ensure that funding for New York was not scrapped or put on the back burner. Now I’m urging my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers of Congress to vote for this bill so we can send this to the President’s desk. Having effective water and sewer systems is critical to public health and helping New York towns and villages grow and prosper.”
Firefighter Assistance Grants
“It is critical that we continue to invest in our fire departments and brave firefighters. This bipartisan bill includes an important victory to pay for more fire equipment and hire and retain more firefighters: we were able to secure $690 million for our brave firefighters, who risk their lives every day to protect our communities, and deserve to have the state-of-the-art equipment needed to do their jobs safely and effectively,” said Senator Schumer. “We need to continue to increase funding for these two critical programs that deliver vital resources to our fire departments across Upstate New York. I’ve fought my whole career to bring more federal resources to our volunteer and career fire departments – that is exactly why I worked double-time to keep our firefighters and communities safe this year.”
Infrastructure Programs like the TIGER Grant Program
“This bipartisan bill contains a major victory for communities across Upstate New York now pursuing economy-boosting transportation and infrastructure projects. The bill reverses the proposed Trump cut and fully funds the TIGER Grant Program, allocating $500 million, which is so critical to communities in Upstate. Everything from returning cars to Main Street in downtown Buffalo, to the transformation of Rochester’s Inner Loop, to improvements to the Capital District and Hudson Valley bus services have been funded by TIGER grants in the last few years,” said Senator Schumer.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
“Hundreds of thousands of fixed-income seniors and low-to moderate- income New Yorkers each year rely on LIHEAP funding to help pay for the home heating costs that have become a larger and larger share of their budget. This major federal investment –of more than $3.39 billion in federal funding – will help New York’s most vulnerable cover their high energy costs. This means fewer people will have to make the agonizing decision over whether to pay energy bills or put food on the table,” said Senator Schumer. “Having these funds available for New Yorkers who deal with harsh winters is critical.”
Head Start Program
“New York has one of the largest enrollments of children in the Head Start program and this funding will allow New Yorkers to better address the needs of children and make sure that they have the opportunity to fulfill the American dream,” said Senator Schumer.
Stream Gauge Funding
“Stream gauges are a critical first line of defense against impending floods, and given the repeated storms and flooding we have seen across New York, I made boosting their funding a top priority over the last year. Upstate New York communities also will be better served in flood detection, prevention, and evacuation planning as the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Groundwater and Streamflow Information Program received a $700,000 funding increase specifically for stream gauges. Now, I will push to see those funds flow to New York, where USGS can work to keep ever-threatened gauges online, and potentially add more of these flood detection devices to high-risk flood zones in order to better prepare for the next natural disaster,” said Senator Schumer.
National Institute Of Health (NIH)
“This federal funding bill provides $34.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health, the epicenter of cutting-edge medical research, an increase of $2 billion over last year’s level and $3.2 billion more than the administration proposed for in their budget. This money is so critical to New York State; last year, New York received more than $2.2 billion in NIH awards, supporting research institutions from Cornell to Rochester to SUNY-Buffalo and elsewhere throughout Upstate New York. I will continue to fight for this critical funding to support Upstate New York State’s world-class research institutions and universities,” said Senator Schumer.