Padilla Votes to Pass the American Rescue Plan, Secure COVID-19 Relief Funds for California
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) voted to pass the American Rescue Plan in the U.S. Senate. The comprehensive package will deliver urgently needed COVID-19 relief to millions across California, including direct checks for struggling families, increased testing and vaccinations, support for small businesses, and resources for schools to reopen safely and quickly.
“After over a year of battling the COVID-19 pandemic, which has taken such a devastating toll on families, small businesses and communities across our state, we are delivering another major relief package that will finally help California turn the corner,” said Senator Padilla. “I am proud that the American Rescue Plan will deliver overdue relief to families and communities, lift millions of children out of poverty, and speed up vaccinations so we can defeat this pandemic. But our work is not done. In the weeks and months ahead, we must do more than just provide short-term relief; we must also help our state fully and equitably recover from this pandemic.”
Included in the package is funding that will directly support California COVID-19 relief and rebuilding:
- State and Local Aid
- Supports essential government functions and critical safety net programs by allocating approximately $40 billion to the State of California, cities, and counties.
- Invests approximately $15 billion to help California’s K-12 schools reopen safely and comply with CDC guidelines.
- Allocates $5 billion to California colleges and universities, half of which must go to emergency financial aid to students.
- Health Care
- Provides additional funding to address the pandemic, including billions of dollars for vaccines, testing and tracing.
- Strengthens California’s public health system by expanding our public health workforce and infrastructure, including through funding for the National Health Service Corps and community health centers.
- Supports Medicaid by expanding the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to provide extra funding and ensures full coverage of COVID-19 vaccinations and treatment.
- Enhances Tax Credits to Support Working Families
- Expands the Child Tax Credit from $2,000 to $3,000 per child ($3,600 for children under 6), and makes it fully refundable and advanceable, which would benefit nearly 8 million California children and lift 553,000 California children out of poverty.
- Improves the Earned Income Tax Credit for 1.85 million California workers without children by nearly tripling the maximum credit and extending eligibility.
- Housing and Homelessness
- Addresses California’s affordable housing and homelessness crisis by allocating an additional $2.2 billion in emergency rental assistance, $1.2 billion in homeowner assistance, and $590 million in homelessness assistance funding.
- Child Care
- Provides $3.8 billion to stabilize California’s child care sector and make child care more affordable for families.
- Helps families access high-quality child care by expanding the Child and Dependent Tax Credit to allow families to claim up to half of their child care expenses.
- Nutrition Assistance
- Increases SNAP benefits by 15 percent through September 30, 2021, providing an extra $117 million per month to support the millions of Californians that rely on this program.
- Provides $4.6 billion to ensure access to safe, reliable transit services in California.
- Helps California airports respond to the ongoing pandemic by appropriating $898 million in relief.
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