The U.S. House of Representatives passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill early Saturday morning, a proposal that includes hundreds of billions of dollars for states, counties, cities and other municipalities to help with the ongoing costs accrued due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The American Rescue Plan still has to pass the Senate before it can be officially approved – and could see further changes in the days ahead -- but the current plan includes a Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds proposal that has an estimated breakdown of what local counties and cities stand to receive in financial assistance.
The legislation includes much-needed relief to re-open schools, distribute vaccinations in local communities, send an additional $1,400 stimulus check to individuals, support small businesses and extend unemployment benefits.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is destroying lives, small businesses, and local communities across this nation as we enter the second year of its existence,” said Congressman John Garamendi. “Tragically, over 500,000 American lives have been lost to this virus, and millions more have been infected and are facing long-term health complications. The virus has also disrupted the economic livelihoods of 18 million Americans, who must now count on expanded unemployment benefits that are extended in this bill to keep food on the table.”
The “American Rescue Plan” includes several different forms of federal financial assistance for California’s 3rd District, which includes Colusa and Glenn counties, including a portion of the $128 billion in direct funding to school districts nationwide to support remote learning, help K-12 programs safely reopen and address lost time in the classroom.
Of the $14,293,604,000 allocated for the state, $1,728,000 has been allocated to Colusa Unified School District; $394,000 has been allocated to Maxwell Unified School District; $2,259,000 has been allocated to Pierce Joint Unified School District; $218,000 has been allocated to Princeton Joint Unified School District; and $1,618,000 has been allocated to Williams Unified School District.
In Glenn County, Capay Joint Union Elementary School District could receive $285,000; Lake Elementary School District is slated to receive $7,000; Stony Creek Joint Unified School District is expected to receive $482,000; Willows Unified School District could receive $2,608,000; and Orland Unified School District is slated to recieve $5,445,000.
“Children are being kept out of the classroom as we enter a second school year of remote learning, and communities are struggling to provide essential services to their residents,” said Garamendi. “Congress has worked in a bipartisan manner to provide relief along the way.”
The legislation also includes direct federal financial funding relief to communities to help cover budget shortfalls they’ve experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic so they can continue providing essential services, both at the county and city level.
According to the latest estimates for the proposal, Colusa County would be allocated $4 million and Glenn would be allocated $6 million.
The city of Colusa would be allotted $1,100,000 and Williams could receive $1 million.
The city of Orland would be allotted $1,500,000 and Willows could receive $1,100,000.
Garamendi said part of the rescue bill will also provide funding to transit agencies that have lost an enormous amount of revenue due to COVID-19-related restrictions and loss of ridership because of the pandemic.
“The bill will provide relief so they are able to operate as the pandemic lessens and eventually dissipates,” said Garamendi.
Garamendi said rural agencies, including the Colusa County Transit Authority and Glenn Ride, will be receiving a portion of a $27 million block grant.
The funds will be distributed by the state, likely based on revenue losses, according to Garamendi.