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Posted on: December 28, 2020

COVID Relief & Omnibus Bill Passed

Along with the passage of an omnibus bill to fund the government through September, Congress overwhelmingly passed a COVID-19 relief bill late Monday night. As previously reported, direct funding for state and local governments was not included in this package.

On Tuesday night, President Trump insisted that the legislation be amended to increase stimulus payments from $600 to $2,000 per person. Speaker Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Schumer immediately announced support for the change. Senate Majority Leader McConnell has not publicly reacted but based on past negotiations, it is unlikely he will support the change. President Trump did not specifically state he would veto the omnibus bill with the COVID relief. Government funding runs out on December 29 without action on this legislation.

On Thursday, the House attempted to pass the amendment in a pro-forma session, which was blocked by Republican leadership.

If the President signs the legislation, other funding in the relief package includes: 

  • $25 billion for rental assistance,
  • $325 billion in small business aid ($284 billion of which is another round of modified PPP loans, along with $20 billion in Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Program funding and $15 billion to support closed performance and entertainment venues),
  • $45 billion for transportation, including $14 billion in additional transit support, $10B in additional surface transportation block grant funding that can be used directly by communities above 200,000 and across the state, as well as an additional $2 billion for primary and general aviation airports,
  • $54.3 billion for public K-12 schools, $10 billion for childcare (funding the Child Care & Development Block Grant and Head Start),
  • $13 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,
  • $7 billion for broadband ($3.2 billion of which is dedicated to a low-income broadband emergency subsidy for households, and another $300 million for rural broadband), and
  • $4.25 billion to provide increased mental health and substance abuse services and support, including $1.65 billion for the Substance Abuse and Prevention Treatment Block Grant. 

The deadline to utilize existing CARES funding will be extended by a year from December 2020 to December 2021 and an extension of unemployment benefits of up to $300 per week.

Contact: Paul Penna, Legislative Analyst, ppenna@njlm.org, 609 695-3481, x110.

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