Show Your Support for New Bi-Partisan Stimulus Bill

Dear County Leader,

As you continue to lead your community through the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to give you an update about what is happening with the next federal recovery aid package, and ask you to contact your congressional member in support of a bill being negotiated.

Today, Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, and Representatives Delgado and Zeldin have introduced bipartisan legislation formula that will provide counties with direct and flexible recovery aid, which is what we have been advocating for.

The Direct Support for Communities Act will create a local relief fund to be split 50/50 between local governments. Counties would receive 50% of the funds allocated counties based on population. The exception to that formula is that a current CDBG entitlement county would receive its entitlement amount if it is higher than what that county would receive under an allocation based on population.

The other 50% would be allocated for cities, towns, and villages. Of that funding pool, 70% would go to Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement communities using the CDBG formula through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to allocate the funding. The remaining 30% for cities, towns, and villages would be sent to states, which would be required to sub-allocate the entire amount within 30 days to all non-entitlement communities in the state based on population.

This proposal has been championed by Senator Schumer because it is in the best interest of New York State, and our counties and local governments. That’s why we are encouraging each member of our bi-partisan delegation to support these efforts.

Please urge your congressional representatives to support this legislation.

While you are contacting your representative, please also ask them to support modifying the CARES Act funding of $150 billion for state and local governments (with populations over 500,000) to allow these funds to be used in an unrestricted basis, including replacing lost revenue and covering COVID-19 expenses.

Please reach out to your congressional member, Senator Charles Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in support of including state and local fiscal relief in the next stimulus package.

Sincerely,

John F. Marren Daniel P. McCoy

NYSAC President President of the County Executives Association

For more information, visit www.nysac.org/medicaid

National Grid Warning Customers of Latest Payment Phone Scam

National Grid is warning customers to beware of a new phone scam where imposters are demanding immediate bill payment and threatening service disconnection. This latest scam, which is targeting customers already facing hardships due to COVID-19, involves callers who pretend to be National Grid representatives. They tell customers that unless payment is made within 30 minutes, their power will be shut off. The customer is then directed to call “the direct billing department to make a payment and avoid power disconnection.”

The scammers use sophisticated phone systems that display National Grid on the customer’s caller ID. Additionally, the phone number customers are instructed to call closely resembles the company’s recorded messaging and phone prompt directions. These elements make it difficult to differentiate an actual National Grid call from an imposter’s call. When in doubt, customers should hang up and call the National Grid customer service number on their bill. National Grid reminds customers that on March 13, the company temporarily suspended collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any financial hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company continues to encourage customers struggling to pay their bills to take advantage of bill payment options or to call to speak with one of our Consumer Advocates.

Please see the following release for more information:

Click here to download the document.

NYS Domestic Abuse Hotline

Last week, the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence launched a new text program and confidential online service to aid victims of abuse and provide potential lifesaving ways to get help.

The new text program and confidential online service will make it easier for victims in isolation to contact the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence and get the help they need.

Anyone seeking help can text (844) 997-2121 or chat with a professional on the new confidential website at www.opdv.ny.gov.

The text and online services will be staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with OPDV staff who are experts in the area of domestic violence.

Click here to download the document.