The most basic recovery costs for roads, water systems, schools, parks, individual assistance and more total $15 billion in New York City; $7 billion for state agencies; $6.6 billion in Nassau County and $1.7 billion in Suffolk County, both on suburban Long Island; and $527 million in Westchester County and $143 million in Rockland County, both north of New York City, according to a state document used in the private briefing of the delegation and obtained by The Associated Press.
Hard times were already facing the state and city governments that were staring at deficits of more than $1 billion before Sandy hit in late October. State tax receipts have also missed projections, showing a continued slow recovery from a recession that could hit taxpayers in the governments' budgets this spring. And there's the looming fiscal cliff, the combination of expiring federal tax cuts and major spending cuts that could rattle the economy.
"Make no mistake, this will not be an easy task, particularly given the impending fiscal cliff, and a Congress that has been much less friendly to disaster relief than in the past," Schumer said. "We will work with the (Obama) administration on supplemental legislation, to be introduced in the upcoming December session of Congress, that will set us on the road to meeting New York's needs. This will be an effort that lasts not weeks, but many months, and we will not rest until the federal response meets New York's deep and extensive needs."
Rep. Peter King, a Long Island Republican who, like Schumer, is a powerful member of his chamber, said he is seeking cooperation from House leaders to find enough disaster aid.
"It really is survival," King said. "This is an emergency. This should be separate of all the debate about the fiscal cliff and everything else."