COVID relief bill

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NEW YORK (AP)  Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer appeared at a Manhattan seafood eatery on Sunday to urge restaurateurs to apply for the soon-to-launch $28.6 billion federal restaurant relief program.

“Our purpose here is to tell the restaurants of New York, ‘Get ready, help is on the way,’” the New York Democrat said at Crave Fishbar in Midtown Manhattan.

James Brown / WXXI News

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said Wednesday that the Rochester-Finger Lakes region will receive $391 million for K-12 education. The money comes from the recent COVID-19 federal stimulus package.

Max Schulte / WXXI News

Tom Silva splits his work days lobbying politicians for Foodlink and working with people who are food insecure.

He said the federal government’s nearly $7 billion investment in fighting food insecurity is badly needed now, because food insecurity has spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic. The money is part of the package signed into law by President Joe Biden on Thursday as part of the $1.9 trillion federal stimulus plan.

Congressman Joe Morelle joins us. We talk to him about impeachment, the riot at the Capitol, and the incoming administration. We also discuss the next round of pandemic stimulus – what’s in it, what’s not in it, and what struggling Americans need to know.

Our guest:

Fred SanFilipo / WXXI News

Owners of music venues around the Rochester region who have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic are anxiously waiting for help from the latest federal stimulus package.

The package signed by President Donald Trump early this week gives billions in aid to music venues, but at least one popular venue isn’t sure if they’ll qualify. 


The federal coronavirus relief package signed by President Donald Trump provides $15 billion to help performing arts groups and other cultural organizations.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, (D-NY) said that funding is from the Save our Stages Act, and  will help a number of Rochester area arts groups including Geva Theatre Center.

Chris Mannelli, executive director at Geva, said while that theater will remain closed for live performances due to the pandemic, the new funding will help them bring some staff back on the job to prepare for the day when they can reopen.


The economic disruption caused by the pandemic has meant more work for local food banks, and the umbrella organization for the Rochester region, Foodlink.

Chief Strategy Officer Mitch Gruber, also a member of City Council, said that Foodlink has worked to provide additional help with so many people out of work. That includes drive-through food distributions over the last several months.

University of Rochester

COVID-19 is having a financial impact on local and state governments. New York state projects a loss of nearly $63 billion through the 2024 fiscal year. The state budget division says that’s a direct consequence of the pandemic.

But while the federal government is allowed to run a budget deficit, states and local jurisdictions can’t. Financial impacts on state and local governments depend on vulnerability factors like where the revenue comes from.

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Congress finalized a COVID-19 relief deal as of Monday. 

The package includes $600 stimulus checks per person, including green card holders, and $300 a week in unemployment benefits.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said this is an emergency survival deal, not a stimulus.