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Texas Gov. Abbott Allocates $16B in COVID-19 in Stimulus Bill Funds

$1,400 stimulus checks, extended unemployment insurance benefits, increased Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, among many other things that will help Texans into recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic are now signed into law.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 8 into law Tuesday Nov. 8, which will allocate the nearly $16 billion in funding awarded to the state earlier this year through the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

Read more: New Poll Suggests Americans Oppose Texas’ Abortion Law

ARPA, also known as the COVID-19 stimulus package, was signed by President Joe Biden in March 2021 to provide $1.9 trillion to help with public health and economic recovery.

Governor Abbott said, “Senate Bill 8 allocates federal funding to support Texans in need, including our veterans, rural communities, small businesses, and frontline workers.

“Allocating these federal funds paves the way for a more prosperous, brighter future for all Texans, and I want to thank my partners in the Legislature for bringing this bill to my desk.”

Read more: Texas Doctor Wrongly Supporting Vaccine Mandates & Ivermectin Treatment Suspended

These are the allocations for the following services and programs under the bill: 

  • $7.2 billion to the Unemployment Compensation Fund to pay back outstanding advances and to bring the balance of the fund to the statutory floor
  • $500.475 million for broadband infrastructure
  • $150 million for the deployment and reliable operations of next generation 911 service
  • $180 million for the recovery of the tourism, travel and hospitality industry that haven’t received federal aid

Read more: Texas Study Reveals Unvaccinated Population 20X More Vulnerable to COVID-19

  • $160 million to address the federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) shortfall affecting Crime Victims Assistance grants
  • $2 billion for state and local hospital surge staffing, antibody therapeutic drugs, and the operation of regional antibody infusion centers
  • $378.3 million for critical staffing needs of frontline workers including recruitment and retention bonuses for nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and emergency medical services providers

Read more: Texas to Face Another Big Power Outage Next Month?

  • $75 million to support rural hospitals affected by COVID-19
  • $113 million to support the operations and expansion of mental health services for Texas children and families
  • $35 million to upgrade all nine Texas State Veteran Homes, along with negative pressure COVID-19 wards, and mobile high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration units for the Homes
  • $95 million to food banks in response to COVID-19

Stay updated with more news here at the East County Gazette. 

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