Senate Passes Major Coronavirus Aid Package, Includes At Least $1.2 Billion For Hawai‘i, Expanded Unemployment Assistance, Direct Cash Payments
Deal Also Includes Aid For Hospitals And Small Businesses, Including Restaurants And Hotels; Legislation Expected To Quickly Pass House And Be Signed Into Law
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) voted to pass a massive $2 trillion coronavirus economic recovery package. The bipartisan deal – the largest emergency relief package in American history – includes billions to help those who are unable to work due to the outbreak, direct cash payments to millions of Americans, new funding for state and local governments, including at least $1.2 billion for Hawai‘i, and aid for small businesses, hospitals, and health care workers.
“This deal will provide federal money to help Hawai‘i families and small businesses, and give our hospitals, clinics, and health care providers resources to fight this outbreak,” said Senator Schatz. “While we still have more work to do, help is on the way.”
Key provisions in the deal include:
- Hospitals and health care workers – provides more than $130 billion to help hospitals, nursing homes, health centers, and health care workers across the country.
- Billions for personal and protective equipment for health care workers, testing supplies, increased workforce and training, new construction to house patients, an increase of the Strategic National Stockpile, medical research into COVID-19 and Medicare payment increases to all hospitals and providers.
- Unemployment assistance – provides $260 billion to help those who have lost their jobs or are experiencing reduced incomes.
- Available to self-employed individuals, part-time workers, independent contractors, and gig workers, including ride-sharing drivers.
- Covers those who are sick, quarantined, furloughed, or whose family circumstances keep them from working or reduce their pay as a result of the coronavirus outbreak or government containment efforts.
- Aid will cover salaries up to about $65,000 for 4 months.
- At least $1.2 billion for Hawai‘i – funding to the state and county governments that will help pay for Hawai‘i’s response efforts.
- Direct cash payments – provides a one-time cash payment to millions of Americans.
- Individuals will get $1,200 (joint filers get $2,400) plus $500 per child.
- Benefits start to phase out for those with incomes exceeding $150,000 for married couples, $75,000 for singles, and $112,500 for single parents.
- Payments will not go to single filers earning more than $99,000; head-of-household filers with one child, more than $146,500; and more than $198,000 for joint filers with no children.
- Small businesses and non-profits – provides $377 billion for small employers, including restaurants, hotels, and non-profits.
- $350 billion in partially forgivable loans to small businesses and non-profits to maintain existing workforce and help pay for other expenses like rent, mortgage, and utilities.
- $10 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency grants of up to $10,000 to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs.
- $17 billion for SBA to cover 6 months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans.
- Large employers – provides $500 billion to keep the biggest employers, including airlines, and their workers on the job.
- Protects collective bargaining agreements and prevents employers from firing employees.
- Extends health care benefits for airline contract workers.
- Prohibits stock buybacks or dividends for the length of any loan provided by the Treasury plus one year.
- Restricts increases to pay for top executives.