U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez detailed how New Jersey will benefit from the COVID-19 relief package that was passed by Congress and signed into law earlier this week. The senators, who both voted in favor of the bipartisan package, secured at least $7.2 billion for New Jersey. Both senators are committed to passing additional funding bills to address the ongoing health and economic crisis.
“We have a mandate to act boldly and comprehensively to help New Jerseyans and people across the country get through this severe economic and public health crisis,” Booker said. “This bill is a step in the right direction, but I will continue fighting alongside my Democratic colleagues to ensure this is not Congress’ last pandemic relief package.”
Below is a breakdown of the funding, including how much New Jersey is estimated to receive based on projections and existing funding formulas, but are not final pending official allocation.
Financial Assistance for New Jersey Families
- $3,928,997,000 in Direct Payments for New Jersey Families. Over 92% of single tax filers and eight-in-ten joint-filers in New Jersey will receive payments up to $600 for individuals earning less than $75,000 and $1,200 for couples earning less than $150,000, plus $600 per child under the age of 17.
- The bill ensures that U.S. citizens living in a mixed status household will receive direct payments and will receive retroactive payments from the CARES Act when they file their 2020 tax return. Under the provision, at least one of the two parents or heads of household must have a social security number for all eligible family members to receive a direct payment.
- Extended Unemployment Insurance (UI). The bill provides an extra $300 a week in addition to one’s base unemployment compensation benefit through March 14, 2021. It also extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program through March 14, 2021, which will ensure self-employed individuals and gig workers have access to UI benefits, and adds 11 more weeks of eligibility for the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program.
- $591,000,000 in rental assistance prioritized for those most in need. Funds can be used to pay for rent, utilities and home energy costs, and housing stability services.
- Extends the eviction moratorium until January 31, 2021.
- 15% increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through June 30, 2021.
State and Local Funding
- The bill does not include additional funding for state and local governments, but does extend the deadline for state and local governments to expend the $150 billion provided in the CARES Act until December 31, 2021. Both Sens. Menendez and Booker remain committed to including additional state and local resources in any future COVID-19 relief package.
Help for NJ’s Small Businesses
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The bill extends PPP and provides an additional $284 billion in funding.
- Expands eligibility to local news outlets and 501(c)6 nonprofits.
- Dedicates $15 billion in funding for live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions.
- Sets aside $15 billion for PPP loans to be issued by smaller financial institutions with $10 billion or less in assets.
- Dedicates $35 billion for first-time borrowers, $15 billion of which is for small businesses with 10 or fewer employees or for PPP loans of $250,000 or less that are made in low-income or moderate income neighborhoods.
- Dedicates $25 billion of second draw loans to be made to small businesses with 10 or fewer employees or for PPP loans of $250,000 or less that are made in low-income or moderate income neighborhoods.
- Allows PPP borrowers to deduct ordinary business expenses like rent and payroll costs.
- Adds costs related to personal protective equipment and outdoor dining as eligible and forgivable expenses.
- Simplifies the forgiveness process for loans of $150,000 and less.
- Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Grant Program. The bill creates a $20 billion EIDL grant program which offers $10,000 for small businesses with 25 employees or less or for small businesses in low-income communities.
Help for NJ’s Health Care System
- $8.75 billion, including $103,335,811 for New Jersey for vaccine distribution, planning, promotion, monitoring and tracking.
- $22.4 billion for testing and contract tracing, including $525,432,205 million for the state.
Support for NJ’s Schools and Child Care Providers
- $54.3 billion to support K-12 education, including $1,230,972,000 for New Jersey schools.
- $22.7 billion, including $512,040,000 to support New Jersey’s institutions of higher education.
- $98,971,000 for Governor Murphy to allocate to the hardest hit schools districts and institutions of higher education. This funding is from the $4.05 billion Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund.
- $179,491,309 to support New Jersey’s child care providers. The funding is from the $10 billion fund for Child Care and Development Block Grants
Help for NJ’s Transportation Network
- Of the $14 billion allocated for transit agencies, New Jersey will receive a significant share of a combined $5,924,788,143.50 being directed to the New York-Newark, Philadelphia, Atlantic City and Allentown, Pa., metro areas.
- $1 billion for Amtrak, including $ 655.43 million for the Northeast Corridor.
- $40 million to support New Jersey’s airports from the $2 billion airport fund.
- $10 billion for state Departments of Transportation, including $248.2 million for New Jersey DOT through the Surface Transportation Block Grant Program.