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  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) led a bipartisan group of 50 senators in reintroducing the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2021. The CONNECT for Health Act will expand coverage of telehealth services through Medicare, make permanent COVID-19 telehealth flexibilities, improve...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today introduced new legislation to support hotel workers and save jobs. The Save Hotel Jobs Act will provide new grants and tax credits to help pay hotel employees, bring back laid-off workers, and ensure safe workplaces.“The pandemic has left millions of hotel employees out of work and many more struggling to get by with less hours. They need help,” said Senator Schatz. “Our bill creates a new grant program that...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the $28.6 billion program aimed at helping restaurants impacted by the pandemic will begin accepting applications for grant funding beginning on Monday, May 3 at 6 a.m. HT/12 noon ET. Registration for the SBA application portal will begin on Friday, April 30. The new SBA program, known as the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, was created through COVID-19 relief legislation passed by Congress and signed into law in...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai’i) and U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) reintroduced the Debt-Free College Act, legislation that will reverse the growing student debt crisis in the United States. The bill restores a path to affordable college by providing states incentives through matching grants to increase investments in public higher education and provide students with debt-free college.The Debt-Free College Act would establish a state-federal...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected Honolulu and Kauai as part of the agency’s Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project (ETIPP). The DOE will provide federal assistance to bolster their transportation and electric grid infrastructure, reduce the risk of outages, and improve their future energy and economic outlook. ETIPP is designed for remote and island communities, which often face...
  • WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) reintroduced legislation to extend two key statutory deadlines for the 2020 Census. The bipartisan bill will set the deadline for the apportionment data to April 30, 2021, as well as extend the deadline to deliver redistricting data to the states to September 30, 2021.These extensions would allow the Census Bureau to continue processing data after the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays to normal...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today reintroduced legislation to allow doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to prescribe medical marijuana to veterans in the 36 states that have established medical marijuana programs.“In 36 states, doctors and their patients have the option to use medical marijuana to manage pain—unless those doctors work for the VA and their patients are veterans,” Senator Schatz said. “This bill...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today introduced new legislation to expand federal paid leave to include 12 weeks of family and medical leave.“The current public health crisis has shown us why it’s so important to have strong paid leave policies, but our current laws are still forcing federal workers to make the impossible choice between caring for their families and keeping their jobs,” said Senator Schatz. “Our bill will provide federal...
  • HONOLULU – Tomorrow, the $16 billion program aimed at helping live event businesses impacted by the pandemic will begin accepting applications for grant funding. The new Small Business Administration (SBA) program, known as the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Fund (SVOG), was created through COVID-19 relief legislation passed by Congress and signed into law in December.“For many museums, music venues, performing arts centers, independent movie theaters, and other live venues in...
  • HONOLULU — Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the Hawai‘i Department of Health will receive a total of $32,834,105 in new federal funding to support the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. These dollars can be used for a broad range of vaccine distribution efforts, including operating vaccination sites across the state, supporting staff and systems to coordinate and track vaccinations, and conducting community outreach to encourage...
  • HONOLULU — U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today announced that Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo will receive at least $600,000 in estimated federal funding under the American Rescue Plan Act and December's COVID relief law. This new funding will go towards upgrading its facilities and supporting its continued operations. “Last fall, Yukio Okutsu was understaffed and ill equipped to stop a deadly COVID outbreak. This new federal funding will help the home upgrade...
  • HONOLULU – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today released the following statement on President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan. “We plan to make historic investments that will help us rebuild our essential infrastructure and create millions of new jobs. It is also a huge down payment on tackling the climate crisis and environmental justice. This plan takes housing seriously, as both an essential aspect of an economic strategy and as a human right. The...
  • HONOLULU — U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today released a resource guide to help Hawai‘i families navigate the new tax benefits available under the American Rescue Plan Act — including the expanded Child Tax Credit. “The newly expanded Child Tax Credit will put more money in the pockets of hundreds of thousands of Hawai‘i families who need a little more help to make it through this tough time,” said Senator Schatz, a member of the...
  • HONOLULU — Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the state will receive an additional $1,234,910.55 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Public Assistance program to cover the costs of emergency activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This federal funding will reimburse state and local governments for purchasing testing supplies and personal protective equipment, administering emergency feeding and non-congregate sheltering, emergency operation...
  • WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) will receive $5,000,000 in new federal funding to help provide affordable housing options for Native Hawaiians living on and off the Home Lands during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding is primarily targeted to help Native Hawaiians hardest hit by the pandemic and facing eviction or mortgage foreclosure with preserving safe and sanitary housing...
  • WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) introduced new legislation that would promote public education about Japanese American internment during World War II. This bill would permanently reauthorize the Japanese American Confinement Sites (JACS) program with $38 million in annual funding to preserve internment camps across the country. The bill would also create a new $2 million federal grant program to promote education of Japanese American internment. “The...
  • WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) today voted to pass an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program. The bill, which passed the Senate and is expected to be signed into law in the coming days, extends the deadline to apply for a PPP loan to May 31. The original deadline to apply was previously set at March 31. “Hawai‘i small businesses will now have two more months to apply for PPP loans,” said Senator Schatz. “This will give our local...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) led a group of 17 senators in reintroducing legislation to protect people’s personal data online. The Data Care Act would require websites, apps, and other online providers to take responsible steps to safeguard personal information and stop the misuse of users’ data. “Websites and apps that collect personal information have a responsibility to protect that data and not use it in a way that harms its own...
  • HONOLULU – Today, the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the $16 billion program aimed at helping live event businesses impacted by the pandemic will begin accepting applications for grant funding beginning on Thursday, April 8. The new SBA program, known as the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Fund (SVOG), was created through COVID-19 relief legislation passed by Congress and signed into law in December. “For museums, music venues, performing arts centers, independent...
  • WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) reintroduced legislation to create a new progressive tax on financial transactions that would curb high risk trading practices, reduce economic inequality, and generate $752 billion in new federal revenue over the next decade. “During the pandemic, Wall Street has cashed in on high-risk trades that add no real value to our economy and leave working families behind. We need to curb this dangerous trading to...