"That's a huge expense," said Schumer.
According to LePage, 14,000 people in Clinton County receive some form of support through the Department of Social Services, such as Medicaid or Family HealthPlus.
"That's 17 percent of our population," said LePage. "That's the largest number of enrolled we've ever had and it's a double-digit increase since last December."
LePage added he didn't provide the numbers to show the "gloom and doom" being experienced in Clinton County, but stated the reality is "the economy is having a dramatic effect on local government."
The senator understood, stating the national economy is in "the worst shape that it's been in since the Great Depression," with 600,000 jobs lost across the nation last month alone. Those job losses equate to less money being spent supporting the economy and more potential for an increased need in government-funded services such as Medicaid. That's why the infusion of funding is expected to provide help to the local economy when it's needed most, he added.
In addition to funding for Clinton County, the stimulus package is expected to provide Essex and Franklin counties with $3.66 million and $5.45 million in Medicaid relief, respectively, also over a 25-month period.