New York state lawmakers have authorized one-time payments of up to $15,600 to undocumented workers who did not receive any pandemic payout cash from the government. Citizens have received far less than that, with many not even getting the promised payments of $600, and then $1,400, as promised by the federal government.
According to The New York Times, this is a program that will cost $2.1 billion in state money. It's the largest payout to undocumented workers in the nation.
Those who proposed and back the bill say that undocumented workers have had a hard time during the pandemic because many of them lost work, and were not eligible for the paltry payments given by the federal government.
This is program is part of the $212 billion budget that was negotiated on Tuesday. While Democrats praised the bill, Republicans said it was misguided and that many New Yorkers are struggling and have not been able to catch up from their own pandemic-caused hardships.
California, another giant blue state with a penchant for overspending, only authorized $75 million, and payouts of $500 to undocumented workers. While the total number of undocumented persons in New York is unknown, given that they are undocumented, the Fiscal Policy Institute put the tally around 290,000.
The $15,600 is something of a retroactive payment, that calculates to $300 per week for the last year. Those who wish to partake of the funds will have to prove that they lived in New York, unable to get federal assistance, and "lost income as a result of the pandemic."
If undocumented people can establish residency and some loss of income, they could still get $3,200. Protestors were ecstatic about the bill, banging pots and pans outside the Albany Capitol, saying carrying banners that read "out labor saved lives."
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced his intentions to raise taxes on New Yorkers. The New York Times reported that "If enacted, the deal would raise income and corporate taxes to generate an extra $4.3 billion a year and would potentially legalize mobile sports betting to raise an additional $500 million in new tax revenue.
"Under the proposed new tax rate, the city's top earners could pay between 13.5 percent to 14.8 percent in state and city taxes, when combined with New York City's top income tax rate of 3.88 percent — more than the top marginal income tax rate of 13.3 percent in California, currently the highest in the nation."
Facebook issued a "Global State of Small Business Report," which found that small business closures in New York topped the nation at 31 percent, along with Pennsylvania. This was per a survey of 35,000 small businesses.