March 19, 2012. A modest increase in the basic allowance is scheduled for July 1, 2012. The Assembly has proposed implementing the increase as scheduled. The Senate, on the other hand, has proposed eliminating it completely. This brief finds that even with the increase, the public assistance grant is less than half the federal poverty threshold in fifty-five counties – and just 50 to 53 percent of the threshold in the other seven counties. Moreover, New York was recently awarded $40.7 million in additional federal TANF Contingency Fund awards. This funding could be used to fully implement the scheduled grant increase without delay and with virtually no additional cost to the state or to local governments this year.