Sen. Schatz: ‘Help is on The Way;’ Trump Signs COVID-19 Relief Package

US Sen. Brian Schatz. Courtesy photo.

US Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) released the following statement after President Trump signed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package into law. The package includes at least $1.7 billion in funding for Hawai‘i.

“Help is on the way. With this bill now signed into law, at least $1.7 billion will now flow to Hawai‘i to help those who’ve lost their job or can’t make rent. It will provide more money for businesses, and give our state, hospitals and health care providers more resources to distribute the vaccine and fight this pandemic. While it’s not enough, and we still have more work to do, this will provide help immediately.”

The bipartisan deal includes funding for unemployment assistance, and aid for small businesses, schools, vaccine distribution, hospitals, and health care workers.  

Among the highlights of the package are the following (a complete list is available in our previous post):

  • Unemployment assistance – extension of unemployment insurance to help those who have lost their jobs or are experiencing reduced incomes.
  • Direct cash payments – provides a one-time cash payment to millions of Americans.
  • Rent relief and eviction moratorium – An estimated $200 million to help Hawai‘i residents who lost their job or saw a significant reduction in income due to the pandemic to make rent.
  • Small businesses and non-profits – provides $325 billion nationally for small businesses, including restaurants, hotels, live venues, and non-profits.
  • Vaccine distribution and procurement – provides nearly $32 billion nationally, including $4.5 billion directly to states and localities and an estimated $35 million to Hawai‘i, to help distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccines.

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