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Senate Unveils Latest COVID-19 Stimulus Bill

Updated: Aug 27, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the introduction of the HEALS Act, an acronym for "Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools.“

McConnell has said that he hopes that in the next two to three weeks the Senate will be able to get the next coronavirus relief bill to the House.

While negotiations continue and all the details are not yet known, this legislation is reported to include:

  1. A new reemployment bonus, which will be paid out for those currently unemployed and that secure a job

  2. Opportunities to apply for second PPP loan for small businesses that have seen revenue fall by more than 50%

  3. $105 billion to help schools reopen in the fall.

  4. $16 billion to help states boost Covid-19 testing capacity.

  5. $50 million to states to help youth who recently “aged out” of foster care address immediate COVID-19-related challenges, such as housing needs.

  6. $10 million for courts to assist them in adapting their practices as a result of COVID-19 so they can continue child welfare hearings via technology when possible.

The House and Senate are at odds and reports are they will not come to an agreement “any time soon. One of the main points of contention is unemployment.

House Democrats want to extend the $600 weekly unemployment payments through Jan. 31, 2021. Senate Republicans proposed first cutting that extra benefit to $200 a week and then creating a new formula where the combination of federal and state benefits amount to 70% of a worker’s pre-coronavirus pay.

The House and Senate are both recessed and it does not appear that any legislation will go into effect prior to Labor Day.


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