WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both D-N.J.) released the following breakdown of how New Jerseyans will benefit from the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill approved by Congress and expected to be soon signed into law by President Biden:

 

CLICK HERE to read Sen. Menendez’s full statement.

CLICK HERE to read Sen. Booker’s full statement.

 

  • Stimulus Checks
    • $1400 direct payments to individuals making less than $75,000 or couples making less than $150,000 and each of their dependent children, phased out to earners up to $80,000/$160,000
      • $9.62 billion in combined direct payments for 3,691,546 eligible New Jersey households – an average $2,605 per household
    • On top of $600 checks approved in December, fulfilling the promise of $2000 per person
    • Unlike previous rounds, adult dependents would be eligible for payments
    • Citizen spouses and children living in mixed-status families are also eligible
  • Unemployment Insurance (UI)
    • Emergency pandemic UI programs due to lapse Mar. 14 will be extended to Sept. 6, not Aug. 29, as in the House version of the bill
    • Extends $300 federal weekly enhanced benefit through Sept. 6
    • Makes first $10,200 of UI tax-free income for individuals earning up to $150,000
    • Freelancers, gig workers and independent contractors eligible
    • Extends a lifeline to over 268,000 New Jerseyans whose federal UI benefits were due to expire this week
  • Vaccines/Testing
    • $14 billion for vaccines
    • $49 billion for testing, contact tracing, genomic sequencing to track new variants, and monitoring of COVID-19
    • $7.6 billion to hire 100,000 public health workers to administer vaccines and support the pandemic response
  • State/Local Assistance
    • $360 billion in direct, flexible aid to every state, county and municipal government, modeled after Sen. Menendez’s SMART Act, to help cover increased costs and lost revenues due to the pandemic, while keeping essential public workers on the job and maintaining critical services for residents; includes $10 billion to expand broadband internet access
      • An estimated $10.2 billion for New Jersey includes approximately $6.4 billion for the state plus another $192 million for broadband, $1.823 billion combined for all 21 counties, and $1.741 billion split among all 565 municipalities
    • $50 billion for Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) to reimburse state and local COVID response costs at 100% cost share
      • New Jersey has already received $2 billion from FEMA DRF

Small Business Assistance

    • New Jersey has seen a 42% drop in small business revenue since Jan. 2020
    • $25 billion targeted assistance for hard-hit restaurants, bars and eateries based on the RESTAURANT Act, championed by Sen. Menendez
    • $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and second-draw PPP loans
    • $15 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advance grants
    • $10 billion for the State Small Business Credit Initiative
    • $1.25 billion in grants for shuttered concert and stage venues
    • Includes a provision championed by Sen. Menendez to assist pension plans supported by community newspapers
    • Extends the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) through the end of 2021 to provide a maximum $14,000 payroll tax credit per employee to help keep employees on payroll at struggling businesses
  • Schools/Child Care
    • $128.55 billion to safely reopen K-12 schools, upgrade ventilation systems, reduce class size, implement social distancing, purchase personal protective equipment (PPE), hire more staff and avoid teacher layoffs; included $2.75 billion for non-public schools
      • $2,764,588,000 for New Jersey K-12 schools
        • $138.2 million reserved to address learning loss
        • $27.6 million reserved for summer enrichment
        • $27.6 million reserved for afterschool programs
      • $73,135,000 for New Jersey non-public schools
    • $39.58 billion for higher education, requiring colleges to use at least half the money they receive to provide emergency financial aid for students
      • $895,648,000 for New Jersey colleges
    • $2.9 billion for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs)
    • $7.172 billion to help provide internet connectivity and devices to students so they can participate in online learning
    • $24 billion for an emergency stabilization fund to help child care providers to pay staff, rent, purchase PPE and supplies
      • $429 million in Child Care Stabilization Grants for New Jersey
    • $15 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant program to help child care providers provide financial relief for families help struggling to pay the cost
      • $268 million in CCDBG grants for New Jersey
    • $1 billion for Head Start
      • $16 million in Head Start funding for New Jersey
    • Expands the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit so that working families can receive up to $4,000 for the child care expenses of one child and $8,000 for two or more kids
  • Housing Assistance
  • Nutrition Assistance
    • $880 million for the Special Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants and Children (WIC)
    • Extends 15% increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program through Sept. 30
    • Extends the Pandemic EBT program that provides nutrition assistance funds in lieu of reduced-price and free meals for students during both the school year and the summer
    • 510,000 or 9% of New Jersey adults have reported not having enough to eat
  • Health Care
  • Transportation
    • $30.5 billion for transit agencies, including $1.5 billion for the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) program that is funding replacement of the Portal Bridge
      • An estimated $2 billion for NJ TRANSIT
      • $77,821,390 in additional CIG funding for Portal North Bridge project
    • $1.7 billion for Amtrak, including $970 million for the Northeast Corridor (NEC)
    • $8 billion to support airport operations
      • $164,022,331 for Newark Liberty International Airport
      • $6,483,633 for Atlantic City International Airport
      • $5,857,137 for Trenton-Mercer Airport
      • $854,000 combined for New Jersey general aviation airports
    • $15 billion to support airline industry workers
  • Misc. Tax Credits
    • Includes Sen. Menendez’s Student Loan Tax Relief Act that makes all forgiven student loan debt tax-free
    • Includes the American Family Act, co-led by Sen. Booker, that overhauls the existing Child Tax Credit (CTC) an make it a dramatically more effective tool for supporting middle-class families with kids and reducing poverty
      • Expands the CTC to $3,600 for each child under six and $3,000 for children under 18, which will
        • More than 1.6 million New Jersey children benefit from expanded CTC, including an additional 560,000 children (half of whom are Latino) who previously did not qualify for the full benefit
        • 82% of New Jersey children now eligible for CTC under expansion
        • Fully refundable for low-income parents
        • Families can receive monthly payments instead of annual lump sum
        • Estimated to lift 10 million children out of poverty, including an estimated 89,000 in New Jersey, 2.3 million Black children, 4.1 million Latino children
    • Largest expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for workers without children in over a decade
      • Nearly triples the maximum credit
      • Extends eligibility to 17 million more low-income workers under 25 without children
      • Minimum age to claim childless credit dropped to 19 from 25; upper age limit eliminated
      • Would put more money in the pockets of 354,000 New Jersey workers struggling to get by
  • Veterans
    • $14.8 billion for Veterans Affairs (VA) health care
    • $750 million for state veterans homes
    • $386 million for rapid retraining of unemployed veterans
    • $272 million for VA claims and appeals processing
    • $100 million for VA supply chain modernization efforts
    • $10 million for the VA Office of Inspector General to provide oversight
    • $1 billion to cover waiver of VA co-pays for treatment provided to eligible veterans
  • Consumer Protection
    • $30.4 million to help the Federal Trade Commission crack down on COVID-related scams
  • Support for Farmers of Color
    • Includes the Emergency Relief for Farmer of Color Act, co-led by Sen. Booker, that provides more than $5 billion in debt relief and assistance for farmers of color who have faced widespread and longstanding discrimination and have seen disproportionate impacts from the pandemic
    • Historic first step towards addressing decades of hurt experienced by Black farmers and farmers of color due to discrimination

 

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