Schatz: COVID-19 relief deal includes at least $1.7 billion for Hawaii

Hawaii will receive at least $1.7 billion in estimated funding from a new $900 billion COVID-19 relief package, according to U.S. Sen. Brain Schatz.

The bipartisan deal — the second-largest emergency relief package in American history — includes funding for unemployment assistance, and aid for small businesses, schools, vaccine distribution, hospitals and health care workers.

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“Help is on the way,” Schatz said. “This relief package will help those who’ve lost their job or can’t make rent. It provides more money for businesses, and gives 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 COVID-19 relief package was included in the annual spending bill, which includes additional money for Hawaii for housing, roads, public transit, and infrastructure, as well as Native Hawaiian health and education programs.

Key provisions in the COVID-19 relief package include:

— More than $700 million for one-time cash payments to qualified Hawaii residents (individuals will get $600, joint filers will get $1,200, plus $600 per child);

— At least $200 million in estimated funding to help unemployed Hawaii workers;

— An estimated $200 million for rent assistance to help Hawaii residents who lost their jobs or saw a significant reduction in income due to the pandemic;

— A 30-day extension of the CDC’s current eviction moratorium to Jan. 31, 2021;

— An additional $2.4 million for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands;

— An estimated $35 million to help the state distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccines;

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— At least $150 million for testing and contact tracing in Hawaii.

See Tuesday’s Tribune-Herald for more.

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