- Published: Tuesday, March 16, 2021 10:28 AM
The U.S. Congress passed a landmark COVID-19 response package Wednesday, and the president has now signed it into law. The American Rescue Plan can begin to help Illinois businesses, homeowners, renters, workers, students and more get back on their feet.
This one-time revenue infusion will go a long way toward helping our state recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Here are a few important provisions included in the American Rescue Plan:
We can expect help with our COVID-19 response.
The plan includes an estimated $275 million to help facilitate our vaccine rollout, plus hundreds of millions more for testing, health departments and community health centers, hospitals, and mental health care and substance abuse treatment. The legislation also includes a plan to allow unemployed individuals to stay on their employer-sponsored health plans for free via COBRA through September.
Residents will receive more direct relief.
About 85% of Illinois adults will receive relief checks. Single filers who make less than $75,000 annually and couples who make less than $150,000 will receive $1,400 per person, including dependents. Federal unemployment programs have been extended through Sept. 6 and the SNAP benefit increase will remain in place through Sept. 30. Rent relief and mortgage assistance programs will also get a boost.
Small businesses will get the help they need to survive and thrive.
The American Rescue Plan establishes an aid program for restaurants, offering up to $5 million per location to help them recover from revenue losses in 2020. The Emergency Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection Programs will also receive additional funding to enable more small businesses to keep their doors open.
Schools and local governments will receive stronger support.
Illinois K-12 schools will receive approximately $5 billion to help keep students safe and engaged during the pandemic, and an additional $1.3 billion will bolster our colleges and universities. To ensure bright futures for our youngest learners, Head Start and child care providers will also receive assistance. Counties, cities and smaller municipalities have been allocated funding to help cope with revenue losses and continue providing the services our communities rely on.
I’m thrilled to see the federal government step up to offer support, and I’m committed to making sure the state uses these dollars responsibly, with Illinoisans in mind.
The American Rescue Plan can help us support our neighbors in need and get our state’s economy back up and running to secure a stronger future for all of Illinois. It’s time to lend a hand to those hit hardest by COVID-19, including struggling small business owners and out-of-work Illinoisans—and I plan to work with my fellow legislators and the executive branch to ensure this relief helps us move forward, together.
The light at the end of the tunnel grows stronger every day. My staff and I are still here to serve you—please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns at (773) 869-9050 or http://senatortonymunoz.com/contact-us.
Stay safe and healthy.
Assistant Majority Leader | 1st District