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President Biden Signs New COVID Relief into Law President Biden Signs New COVID Relief into Law

President Biden Signs New COVID Relief into Law

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARP”) into law. At a high level, the ARP is designed to be another round of major stimulus for the American economy. Under the ARP, many Americans will receive a direct check of $1,400. The ARP also includes tax cuts for families making less than $90,000 per year.

The law provides funding for several specific programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program); schools and universities; childcare and elder care, COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, treatment, and prevention; mental health and substance-use disorder services; emergency rental assistance, homeowner assistance, and other housing programs;  payments to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments for economic relief;  multiemployer pension plans;  and small business assistance, including specific programs for restaurants and live venues.

All of these funds are on top of previously enacted stimulus funding; nearly $1 trillion in previously marked CARES Act funds remain unspent and available for further relief. But the ARP provides further funding in addition to the CARES Act funds; for example, the $300 federal boost to unemployment aid was set to expire on March 14 but has now been extended until Labor Day, September 6. Additionally, those receiving federal unemployment benefits are now entitled to a $10,200 tax exemption for benefits received in 2020.

Individual states will also receive COVID relief funds. For example, Indiana will receive $3.2 billion in state fiscal relief, $2.5 billion in local fiscal relief, and $2 billion in relief for K-12 schools. Ohio will receive $5.5 billion in state fiscal relief, $4.6 billion in local fiscal relief, and $4.5 billion in relief for K-12 schools. Illinois will receive $8.2 billion in state fiscal relief, $5.2 billion in local fiscal relief, and $5.2 billion in K-12 relief. New York will receive $12.83 billion in state fiscal relief, $9.95 billion in local fiscal relief, and $9.174 billion in K-12 relief. Pennsylvania will receive $7.4 billion in state fiscal relief, $4.9 billion in local fiscal relief, and $5.1 billion in K-12 relief.

If you have questions concerning this new law, its potential applicability to you or your business, or strategies for compliance and obtaining its intended protections, please reach out to Tami Earnhart, Christina Fugate, or Josh Christie for more information.

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances.

 
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