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American Rescue Plan Signed by President Biden Supports Santa Monica’s Recovery

March 11, 2021 5:56 PM

American Rescue Plan Signed by President Biden Supports  Santa Monica’s Recovery

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Today, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan recovery and stimulus package that will infuse $1.9 trillion into the U.S. economy to support COVID-19 recovery efforts. This significant aid package will lift up broad recovery efforts through stimulus for individuals and working families, and support school reopenings, vaccinations, and small businesses, among many other important areas.

In the plan, $350 billion in relief is allocated to state and local governments, with Santa Monica receiving $29.3 million from the bill over the next year to help offset the substantial COVID-related revenue losses that the City budget has experienced over the first year of the pandemic. 

“The American Rescue Plan will fast track community recovery by directly supporting our most vulnerable residents, as well as our local restaurants, addressing housing needs, and accelerating reopening of schools and the broader economy,” said Interim City Manager Lane Dilg. “The federal aid provides $29.3 million in stabilization aid to the City budget.  Even more importantly, it provides direct support to our Santa Monica businesses, residents, and children as we together recover from the pandemic and its many impacts.”

Specifically, the aid package includes the following, which will positively impact the lives of Santa Monicans:

  • Direct Assistance to Working Families:
    • Direct $1,400 stimulus payments to individuals making $75,000 or less annually, and couples making $150,000 or less. Additionally, each of their qualified dependents regardless of age would also receive $1,400.
    • Increases the Child Tax Credit maximum to $3,000 a year for each child ages 6 to 17, and $3,600 for each child under age 6 for couples who make $150,000 or less and single parents who make $112,500 or less. Payments will be sent by direct deposit monthly.
    • Extends Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits of $300 a week through Sept. 6, 2021 and increases the total number of weeks available from 50 to 79.
    • Extends the 15% increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through Sept. 30, 2021.
  • Rental Assistance/Homelessness
    • $21.55 billion for emergency rental assistance through Sept. 30, 2027
    • $5 billion in emergency housing vouchers through Sept. 30, 2030
    • $5 billion to assist people experiencing homelessness
  • School Reopening
    • $130 billion for K-12 education to reduce class sizes, improve ventilation, purchase personal protective equipment, and fund other steps to help schools reopen safely.
  • Help for Businesses
    • Includes the Restaurants Revitalization Fund, which provides $28.6 billion in relief for small and mid-sized restaurants
    • The Paycheck Protection Program will receive an additional $7.25 billion and more non-profits will now be allowed to apply for forgivable loans to help cover payroll and other operating expenses. 
  • Testing & Vaccine Distribution
    • $50 billion for additional COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, $19 billion to increase the size of the public health workforce and $16 billion to fund vaccine distribution and supply chains.
    • $46 billion to expand federal, state, and local testing for COVID-19 and to enhance contract-tracing capabilities with new investments to expand laboratory capacity and set up mobile testing units. It also contains about $14 billion to speed up the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines across the country.

While this one-time federal aid to the City represents a small fraction of the revenue lost due to COVID-19 and only approximately 4% of the City’s current operating budget, it will advance community priorities set by City Council through the biennial budget process. 

To learn more about the American Rescue Plan and what it means for you, visit https://www.whitehouse.gov/american-rescue-plan/.

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