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State expected to receive at least $6.1B as part of relief package

  • SCHATZ

Hawaii is expected to receive at least $6.1 billion in federal funding as part of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package passed Wednesday by Congress.

“Billions of dollars are coming to help families and small businesses,” said Sen. Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat and member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, in a news release. “This new package will deliver immediate help to people who have lost their job or can’t make their rent. It provides funding for schools and health care and will give our state more resources to get people vaccinated.”

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According to information on Schatz’s website, Hawaii’s funding will include, among other provisions:

•$2.2 billion for state and county assistance that can be used to bolster budgets that sustained significant tax revenue loss because of the pandemic, including $1.6 billion to the state and $36 million to Hawaii County.

• $575 million for unemployment assistance.

• $226.5 million for rent and mortgage relief, including $152 million to help Hawaii residents who lost a job or had a reduction in income because of the pandemic and $6.5 million in Native Hawaiian housing assistance.

• At least $20 million to help distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccines.

• $150 million for health care, including $20 million to the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems to support five health centers on the Big Island, Kauai, Molokai, Maui and Oahu; $50 million to community health centers; $40 million for rural health care providers; $15 million to support mental health programs; and $25 million for a new program to recruit, hire and train new public health workers in Hawaii.

• $1.4 million for nursing homes, including at least $428,000 to Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo to upgrade facilities and support operations, and an estimated $1 million to deploy strike teams to long-term care facilities experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks.

• $634 million for Hawaii schools, including $91 million for elementary and secondary school emergency relief funding, at least $78 million to address learning loss, $85 million for Native Hawaiian education programs and $98 million to support Hawaii colleges and universities.

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• $138 million for child care and welfare programs.

• $380 million for transportation, including $144 million for Hawaii’s airports that can be used for operations and expenses related to coronavirus safety procedures, and access to $15 billion in national funding to airlines and contractors for workforce salaries and benefits to prevent layoffs.

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