House passes $3T relief package, how much is allocated for WNY

Nearly one-third goes to state and local govt.
Posted at 11:40 PM, May 15, 2020

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $3 trillion economic relief package Friday night. The Heroes Act includes about $1 trillion for states and local governments, and a second round of stimulus checks for Americans. The bill has been called "dead on arrival" in the Senate.

Buffalo is allocated $1 billion over the next two years. Mayor Byron Brown said that would lift the city out of it's deficit.

"Not only would we be able to reopen strongly, but we would be able to resume the economic renaissance pace that we were on prior to the COVID-19 global pandemic," he said.

Brown said Buffalo faces a $15 million deficit for the current fiscal year. His newly outlined budget relies on $65 million in federal aid. The county faces a deficit as well. Erie County Comptroller Stegan Mychajliw said the county has more than a $200 million deficit. Erie County executive Mark Poloncarz said the assessment was premature, and there are more ways the county can close the gap.

The federal stimulus package allocated $500 million to Erie County over the course of two years.

"If the federal government comes in with a very big package it may actually save us from having to do huge cuts," said Poloncarz.

Congressman Brian Higgins shared estimates of the funding Western New York municipalities would receive if the bill passes.

The second wave of economic relief faces strong opposition in the republican-led senate.

"It's got so much unrelated to Coronavirus it's dead on arrival here," said South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.

If the bill fails, state and local governments have to find other ways to get out of the red. New York State faces its largest deficit ever. It's allocated $34 billion in the aid package.

"I can't make up $61 billion and it's gonna be purely a function of what happens in Washington," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.