Last month, President Biden signed into law one of the biggest stimulus package bills in U.S. history. The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act includes unemployment aid, stimulus payments, tax credit expansions, funds for vaccine distribution, relief for state and local governments, and more.
Some key points of the COVID-19 relief package include:
- Extension of enhanced unemployment benefits through Sept. 6, 2021 ($300 per week)
- $1,400 direct payments to most Americans and their dependents
- Expansion of the child tax credit
- Nearly $30 billion in direct relief for restaurants
- Approximately $70 billion for COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing and distribution, testing and contact tracing
- An added $25 billion in rental and utility assistance and around $10 billion for mortgage aid
- $350 billion in relief to state, local and tribal governments
- More than $120 billion for K-12 schools
- Extension of the employee retention tax credit
Pierce County is ready
Federal recovery funds for Pierce County will be released in two batches. More than $88 million in funding, half of the $177 million earmarked for the county, is expected within a few weeks.
“Pierce County is ready to get to work immediately to see that these funds go to those in our community who need it most,” said Pierce County Council Chair Derek Young. The County Council is working with community partners and area cities to determine how to distribute funds.
Unlike the first round of relief that imposed a deadline on expenditure, the American Rescue Plan Act allows more time to distribute money, Young said. “This means we can make thoughtful, lasting investments in Pierce County that go beyond immediate response and instead allows us to set up long-term, transformative changes.”