Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move August 5, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Myrie Updates on Programs and COVID-19

State Senator Zellnor Myrie
State Senator Zellnor Myrie

State Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Gowanus, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens, South Slope, Sunset Park) yesterday updated Brooklyn residents of the programs they are eligible for.

  • The deadline to resolve debt on homes before the city’s lien sale is September 3. Find out if your property has a tax lien and sign up for an info session here. If you can’t attend tonight’s event, there are others throughout this month. 

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program (FPUC) ended last week. Unless the federal government acts, unemployed residents are no longer able to claim this $600 weekly benefit. However, New York State residents may be eligible for additional weeks of unemployment compensation:

  • Traditional Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits are now extended for up to 59 weeks: Traditional UI lasts for 26 weeks in New York, and has been extended by both the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which adds 13 weeks, and the Extended Benefits (EB) program, which adds an additional 20 weeks. 
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits are now extended for up to 46 weeks: Under Federal law, those receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) are not eligible for PEUC or EB, but are now eligible for up to 46 weeks of benefits in New York – up from the original 39 weeks.
  • To continue receiving these benefits, it is important to re-certify your claim every week. Please visit the Department of Labor online for more information, and contact our office if you’re having difficulty with unemployment.

COVID-19 Updates:

  • All New Yorkers are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19, whether or not they have symptoms or are at increased risk. Free walk-in testing offered by New York City or New York State does not require an appointment and is available regardless of immigration status (tests offered at clinics, pharmacies or non-profits may require an appointment and/or charge a fee). Click here to find a free, NYC-run testing location near you.
  • The American Debate league is offering 100 FULL SCHOLARSHIPS for children from 4th-12th grade to participate in the 4th Annual “Public Speaking, Debate & Speech Summer Camp” hosted by the American Debate League in partnership with Queens College. Due to COVID-19, the summer camp will be online this year. To register please click on ADL Speech & Debate camp. 
  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both Prospect Park Alliance and NYC Parks have lost critical funding, and as a result the seasonal workforce is significantly smaller compared to last summer. Park greeters will engage the public and keep the park green and vibrant. Learn more at to learn more and register.

Gillibrand Pushes for Continued Free Meals 

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand urged the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to continue critical flexibilities that have allowed students to access much-needed meals throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“No child should have to go hungry because of the pandemic’s disruption of in-classroom learning. Thousands of New York school children depend on school meals to get the nutrition they need, but the COVID-19 has deepened the hunger crisis countless families were already struggling to manage,” said Gillibrand. “We must do everything possible to give school meal program directors and staff the best tools to meet this hunger crisis head on, including the extension of critical waivers that help families get fresh fruits and vegetables on the table.”

To help ensure school meal program directors and staff have the certainty that they need to begin preparing for the upcoming school year, the senators are urging the USDA to extend a variety of waivers that will help ensure low-income students can access school-provided meals throughout the upcoming school year. Additionally, the senators are calling on the USDA to reimburse schools for the transportation costs for delivering meals to low-income students.

Adams Slams on Early End to Census Count

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Borough President Eric Adams yesterday slammed the decision of the Census Bureau to end its field data collection by September 30, a month earlier than had been expected.

“The Census count isn’t supposed to be about red and blue, or white and black​. However, the Trump administration has disgracefully been determined ​from the outset to politicize this constitutionally-mandated count that is supposed to include every person in our country, with no exceptions. Brooklyn is already the hardest-to-count county in this state, and the short-sighted decision to cut off counting efforts a month earlier than planned will deepen our challenges in the face of the ongoing pandemic. 

“An undercount is a threat to all Brooklynites, regardless of whether they completed the Census yet or not. Billions of dollars for our hospitals, schools, roads, and parks are at stake, as is our equitable representation in Congress. Our #MakeBrooklynCount campaign will continue to make every call, send every text, and reach every neighbor possible, but the Census Bureau must rethink this short-sighted decision. It is also more urgent than ever that the City and State surge resources for outreach that have so far been seriously lacking,” said Adams. 

Senators Announce COVID-19 Funding  

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced $11,649,036 in federal funding to help health centers respond to and contain the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.  

“As New York rebuilds and recovers from this unprecedented health and economic crisis, it’s imperative that hospitals and health centers have the resources they need to execute an aggressive testing strategy to keep the virus at bay,” said Schumer. “This federal funding does just that by increasing the testing capacity of hospitals and health centers across the state. I will continue to fight tooth and nail for the federal resources to keep our communities safe and to be proactive in the battle against COVID-19.”

“With mounting pressure to open schools and businesses, we must ensure that all New Yorkers have access to COVID-19 testing,” said Gillibrand. “This essential funding will make testing and treatment more accessible across New York State and will help keep our communities safe from this devastating virus. I will continue advocating for the resources needed to remain resilient during these unprecedented times.”

The funding was allocated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Expanding Capacity for Coronavirus Testing (ECT) program.

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