President Signs $1.9 Trillion Coronavirus Relief Bill into Law
On Thursday, March 11, the president signed the latest coronavirus relief bill, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, into law. This latest relief bill includes numerous provisions, including $1,400 stimulus checks, relief to state and local governments and other measures.
First, the bill provides $1,400 stimulus checks in addition to the $600 payments sent out in December. There is a slight shift in eligibility, as individuals earning more than $80,000 annually and couples earning more than $160,000 per year will not be eligible for this latest payment. These payments will be distributed throughout the next several weeks, so you may not receive the payment right away. If eligible, you should receive the payments in the same way you received the previous stimulus checks, whether it was by direct deposit or paper check. For the first time, 17-year-olds and adult dependents, meaning anyone age 18 and older, are eligible for a payment as a part of the bill. This includes college students, older adults and children of all ages with certain disabilities. Additionally, the relief bill extends the existing $300 weekly unemployment benefits check through Sept. 6 and provides a tax break on the first $10,000 in unemployment benefits received by households.
This legislation also increases the child tax credit. Under the bill, individuals making up to $75,000 annually and couples making $150,000 per year would receive $3,000 a year for each child ages 6 to 17 and $3,600 a year for each child under the age of 6. This expansion is set to last for only one year and is intended to be distributed throughout the year in the form of payments to help families offset the costs of taking care of their children. The U.S. Treasury Department will determine the process for distributing the funds, and taxpayers, if they wish, will be able to opt out of the monthly payments and instead receive a lump sum.
There are several other components to this bill, including aid to state and local governments, funding for coronavirus testing and contact tracing, as well as funding for vaccine distribution. The legislation also sets aside funding for emergency rental assistance and relief for the homeless, funding for mortgage and homeownership assistance and additional resources to help K-12 schools and higher education institutions stay open. While I believe this bill does a lot to help those struggling with the effects of the coronavirus, I fear there are still many Americans who need help. We cannot truly overcome this pandemic until we can get everyone vaccinated and back on his or her feet.
I also want to continue to encourage you to pre-register to receive one of the COVID-19 vaccines at stlcorona.com. There will be upcoming COVID-19 vaccination events in our area soon.
On Wednesday, March 10, the St. Louis County executive announced a pilot program to bring the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals who are unable to leave their homes. As the St. Louis County Department of Public Health works to provide the vaccine to all eligible populations, it is important to make sure no one is being left out due to being homebound. For more information and to see if you qualify for this program, you can email email@example.com or call 314-615-2660.
For more information on Sen. Walton Mosley’s legislative actions, visit her official Senate website at www.senate.mo.gov/Mosley.