SACRAMENTO–Today Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) applauds the final emergency relief package that just passed in the United States Senate.
“After much negotiating between the parties in the U.S. Senate, this bill responds to the COVID-19 crisis and provides much needed help to individuals, small businesses, corporations, hospitals and state and local governments” said Wood. “I’m very pleased that many individuals and families will receive a direct payment, that unemployment benefits will be extended and increased -- even for those who are self-employed – and for providing help for businesses of all sizes in the form of loans and tax credits.”
More than 80 percent of individuals in this country will qualify for direct payments. Individuals earning $75,000 or less will receive a check for $1,200.
“People receiving unemployment benefits will get an extra $600 per week, over and above our state’s amount, for up to four months and for the first time, it covers gig workers and temporarily expands unemployment insurance to people who are self-employed as well as those who would like to work but can’t because they’re sick or caring for a family member,” said Wood. “We have many people who are self-employed in the district I represent, and this will really help.”
It also includes a $367 billion loan program for small businesses. Small businesses will be able to take out loans of up to $10 million, and employers could use the money to pay their employees.
“Throughout the five counties I represent, small business is not small business – they are the backbone of our business community – and this crisis has hit them hard,” said Wood. “These loan programs will be a lifeline for many of them.”
The bill also includes approximately $180 billion to help hospitals acquire personal protective equipment, ventilators, offer telehealth services and improve staff best practices for treating vulnerable populations.
“This support is so critical to the health care staff and operations of our smaller rural hospitals and will allow them, and our health care professionals, to continue the amazing work serving their communities,” said Wood.
“I know this isn’t everything that’s needed, and we’re already talking about what more can be done, but this is a significant step in helping people recover their lives and providing significant support to our hospitals, our health care providers and the businesses in our North Coast communities,” said Wood.
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