WASHINGTON - The House passed a bipartisan, bicameral $2 trillion emergency supplemental package Friday to address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, And Economic Security (CARES) Act will bring urgently needed relief to families and small businesses across the country, including New Jersey.
The Senate has already passed the bill and President Trump is expected to sign it.
New Jersey will receive over $3.4 billion from the State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide resources to cope with the pandemic. Additionally, New Jersey Transit, which has lost 88% of its ridership, will receive an estimated $1 billion to protect the jobs of employees during this public health emergency.
Rep. Tom Malinowski, D-7th, has been a leading voice in preparing for the November elections by ramping up vote by mail and early voting initiatives, and New Jersey will receive over $10 million to support these preparations.
“I am proud to say to my constituents in Phillipsburg and Dover and Clark who are out of work, to our restaurant owners in Somerville and Summit, to our nurses and doctors at Overlook and Hunterdon Medical, that help is on the way,” Malinowski said. “There is still so much more to be done for our local governments, and our hospitals and the healthcare systems, but Congress will keep working to get the American people through this crisis.”
The package includes:
- A $150B State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund: Creates a $150B State and Local Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide states and localities additional resources to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. It is estimated that New Jersey will receive $3.4 billion to benefit our state’s residents.
- $260B in Dramatically Expanded Unemployment Benefits: Includes numerous provisions to improve unemployment benefits including providing an additional $600 per week for the next four months, providing an additional 13 weeks of federally funded benefits, and expanding eligibility to include workers in the gig economy and self-employed workers.
- Immediate Direct Cash Payments to Lower and Middle-Income Americans: Provides for immediate, direct cash payments to lower-and middle-income Americans of $1,200 for each adult and $500 for each child, beginning to phase out at an annual income of $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 for a household. These payments will provide individuals with the cash they need right now to survive with much of the economy currently shut down.
- More Than $375B in Small Business Relief: Provides more than $375 billion in small business relief, including $349 billion for forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees and keep them on the payroll; $17 billion for debt relief for current and new SBA borrowers; and $10 billion in immediate disaster grants.
- Approximately $200B for hospitals, health care workers, and health research: Provides an investment of about $200 billion in our hospitals, health systems, and health research, including expanding funding for the personal protective equipment desperately needed by our health care workers, including ventilators, n95 masks, gowns, gloves, and more.
- More Than $100 Billion in Additional Emergency Appropriations, Including the Following:
- Transit Agencies: Provides $25 billion to transit agencies, which have seen a drastic drop in revenues as social distancing has been implemented. This funding is to be used to protect the jobs of the employees of the transit agencies, funding their paychecks during this public health emergency. New Jersey will receive an estimated $1 billion under this program.
- Election Assistance: Provides $400 million for Election Assistance Grants for states to help prepare for the 2020 elections. Coronavirus is already resulting in the postponement of some primaries and this funding can help states make voting safer for individuals. Funding can be used, for example, to increase the ability to vote by mail, expand early voting, and expand online registration. New Jersey will receive over $10 million for these purposes.
- Child Care and Development Block Grant: Supports child care and early education by providing $3.5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant. New Jersey will receive $62.5 million under this emergency appropriation.
- HUD Emergency Solution Grants: Provides $2 billion for HUD Emergency Solution Grants to states that will be distributed by formula. These grants are designed to address the impact of the coronavirus among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, and to support additional homeless assistance, prevention, and eviction prevention assistance. Of this $2 billion, New Jersey will receive $53 million. In addition, the bill provides an additional $2 billion for these grants that will be allocated by HUD to the most hard-pressed areas.
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): Provides $900 million to help low-income families pay their heating and cooling bills. New Jersey will receive $12 million for this purpose during this public health emergency.
- Byrne-Justice Assistance Grant Program: Provides $850 million for this program, giving additional support to state and local law enforcement agencies, thereby allowing them, for example, to obtain the personal protective equipment and other medical items they may need during this public health emergency. New Jersey will receive $18 million under this appropriation.
- CDC Coronavirus State, Local and Tribal Grants Minimum Awards: Provides about $750 million in CDC State, Local, and Tribal Grants Minimum Awards to help agencies cope with the public health emergency. The minimum award for New Jersey is $15.4 million. In addition, states can apply for additional funds above their minimum award, based on their needs.