New York is set to get $750 million a month in coronavirus economic stimulus legislation that’s currently being finalized, Sen. Chuck Schumer tells The Post.
The Democratic Senate minority leader said Thursday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) signed off on the Empire State funding and that he hasn’t heard of objections from the White House or Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is negotiating with Pelosi.
New York has at least 328 cases of COVID-19 — one of the nation’s worst outbreaks, with 95 cases now inside city limits.
Schumer said he scored the haul by temporarily adjusting the state’s Medicaid reimbursement rate. Right now, the federal government pays 50 percent of expenses for Medicaid in New York. Under the deal, the feds would temporarily pay 58 percent.
Although Mnuchin has not specifically agreed, “I have not heard this part of the package being objected to,” Schumer said.
The deal would tweak other state reimbursement rates, but rates vary by state. “New York does the best of any of them,” Schumer said.
He said state and local governments — whose share of Medicaid fees would fall to 42 percent — could use the money they save on whatever they want, alleviating pressure from the crisis. He said Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, both fellow Democrats, know of the measure.
“De Blasio and Cuomo are both eager for this,” Schumer said.
“The money itself goes to Medicaid, but it frees up Medicaid dollars for other things,” Schumer explained. “It would really help us deal with the crisis because it’s a lot of money, it’s a very significant amount of money and it can be used flexibly.”
The legislation “would mean on a prorated basis over $750 million a month for New York for as long as this stays in effect,” Schumer said of the emergency measure. “The money would be flexible, it could be used by the state, by the city, by New York City, by localities throughout the state, by first responders, by hospitals, nursing homes, community health centers.”
White House spokespeople did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
An outline of the larger bill from the House Appropriations Committee said Democrats would seek $1.15 billion for nutrition programs for the needy along with more funds for virus testing and measures to boost paid leave to workers impacted by the outbreak. Republican had sought a temporary payroll tax cut to offset a stock market plunge.
The Senate adjourned Thursday night until Monday, meaning if Pelosi and Mnuchin reach a deal, it’s unlikely to become law until next week.
Map of coronavirus cases across the globe
But Schumer said he’s optimistic after keeping in touch with Pelosi, who spoke with Mnuchin seven times on Thursday. Offering a hint on progress, he said around 6 p.m. that he expected the outcome of talks to be announced in “a few hours.”
Whether New York actually gets the money hinges on the fate of the larger deal, he said.
“[Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell has said if Mnuchin and Pelosi — and I’m part of the Pelosi negotiations, obviously — have come to an agreement, he will in all likelihood go for it,” Schumer told The Post. “Now if there’s not an agreement, Pelosi will still vote for it in the House and we’ll have to put pressure on the Republicans to bring it up in the Senate.”
Schumer worked previous deals for New York during economic downturns in 2003 and 2009.
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