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NYS Hemp Growers and Producers

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Even a year as tumultuous as 2020, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, Senate Democratic Leader, today completed his 22nd consecutive tour of all 62 New York State counties — an accomplishment that continues his track record as the first New York State public official to visit every single county in New York each year he has been in office.

Over the course of the year, Schumer made 86 county visits to Upstate New York and Long Island. He visited counties in the Capital Region 15 times; Western New York six times; Central New York eight times; the Rochester-Finger Lakes 12 times; the Southern Tier 10 times; the Hudson Valley 14 times; the North Country eight times; and Long Island 13 times.

“Twenty-two years ago, upon my election to the United States Senate in 1998, I promised that each and every year I served, I would visit all 62 of New York State’s diverse counties,” Schumer said. “Not only has this ritual remained a steadfast passion of mine because of all I learn from my constituents and bring to Washington, D.C., as both a senator and the Democratic Leader of the Senate.

“Especially this year, when New York battled the global health and economic pandemic especially hard, visiting all 62 counties was vital for me to learn firsthand the struggles and needs of New Yorkers, from one end of the state to the other. Through a year that much has changed – I, too, traveled with masks and disinfectant in tow to much smaller and more understated events – one thing remained the same: my commitment, dedication, and love for New York.

“This year, more than ever before, I learned more about the struggles and needs of New York and saw New Yorkers resilience, perseverance, and grit and time and time again the very best New York has to offer even during our darkest of days. Although I’ve gained the title of Senate Democratic Leader, my proudest and most principal titles have been, and will always remain, New York’s Senator and ‘New Yorker.’ “

Highlights of the year include:

Delivered $167 Billion for New York in COVID Relief: During negotiations for the CARES Act, Schumer worked for days to deliver a plan that best protected New York’s workers, small businesses, and health centers so they could receive the help they needed amidst the COVID crisis.

Secured Nation’s First Major Disaster Declaration for COVID-19, Unlocking Almost $6 billion in Federal FEMA Support for New York State: Following Schumer’s tireless advocacy and early calls for broad federal support from FEMA, New York State was granted the first Major Disaster Declaration for the COVID-19 pandemic of any state in the country. Schumer has continued to push the Administrator and the President to provide all support available to New York under FEMA’s control, delivering almost $6 billion for the state thus far, with over $1 billion in reimbursement for COVID-19 costs incurred by the state, localities, and eligible non-profits, like purchasing personal protective equipment and paying health care workers overtime.

Secured Over $6 Billion in FMAP Funds For NYS and its Counties To Provide Vital Budget and Health Care Relief: Senator Schumer successfully pushed for Congress to include a cost-sharing provision in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act so New York’s counties, which pay part of Medicaid’s costs, could benefit from the increase federal Medicaid support. Schumer had successfully championed this provision in prior disaster response legislation, including after 9-11, Hurricane Sandy and the 2008 financial meltdown. The legislation immediately unlocked over $6 billion in statewide dollars related to healthcare funds known as “FMAP” for New York state and its counties to cover healthcare costs, $1 billion in unemployment benefits, free testing, pair emergency leave, meals for homebound seniors, and other critical services.

Fighting Hunger by Securing Pandemic-EBT Program Extension through September 2021: After tirelessly advocating for expanded nutrition benefits, Senator Schumer secured numerous nutrition benefits in the negotiations for the Continuing Resolution. The Continuing Resolution extended P-EBT benefits through Sept. 30, 2021 and creates a pathway to allow territories to participate in the P-EBT program. Roughly 2.1 million students across New York State are eligible for the P-EBT program, which provides families with additional nutrition assistance for students when schools are closed or in virtual learning.

Boosted NYS Hemp Growers and Producers to Create Jobs: Senator Schumer called on USDA to delay the implementation of the USDA’s U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program final rule and urged USDA to respond to the numerous concerns of hemp growers and producers in Upstate NY. The senator worked closely with the House of Representatives to include language in the Continuing Resolution that extends the authorization for the 2014 hemp pilot program regulations through Sept. 30, 2021, which will give New York hemp farmers additional time to come into compliance with USDA’s new regulations for hemp.

Secured Over $409 Million for NYS Farmers: Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Senator Schumer has pushed USDA to expand the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) to include as many commodities as possible and ensure New York State farmers receive the assistance they need. Senator Schumer lobbied USDA to include more specialty crops, small livestock, goats, microgreens, nursery and greenhouse commodities, nontraditional crops, and more on the list of eligible crops for CFAP. Following his efforts, USDA expanded the eligibility lists for CFAP 1 and rolled out a second CFAP program, CFAP 2, which included a significantly expanded list of eligible crops. To date, New York farmers have received over $222 million in assistance through the CFAP 1 program and $187 million through CFAP 2.

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