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Ige calls off state furloughs, layoffs

HONOLULU — The County of Kaua’i is receiving about $13 million of the $1.9T American Rescue Plan, recently signed by President Joe Biden.

According to a release from the office of Governor David Ige, The sweeping pandemic relief package aims to defeat the COVID-19 virus and breathe life into the economy. The legislation means that the State of Hawai‘i and four counties will receive about $2.2 billion in assistance to bolster state and county budgets that have sustained significant tax revenue losses because of the pandemic.

In the release announcing the funds, Ige said furloughs and layoffs are “no longer necessary”, thanks to the funding.

The rest of the state will receive part of that $2.2 billion as follows:

• $1.6 billion for the State of Hawai’i

• $365 million for the City and County of Honolulu

• $36 million for the County of Hawai’i

• $30 million for the County of Maui

The state will also receive an additional $116 million for critical capital projects for pandemic response in education and health care.

“This new infusion of federal funding gives the state much needed breathing room so that layoffs and furloughs are no longer necessary in the foreseeable future. We must still assess all impacts of the COVID-19 relief bill before we have a clearer picture of its effect on the state budget,” said Gov. Ige.

The relief package expands unemployment benefits through Sept. 6 with $300 a week from the federal government. The bill also provides a 100% subsidy of COBRA health insurance premiums so that laid-off employees can remain on their health care plans through September.

In addition, the package will provide $1,400 for qualified single taxpayers, $2,800 for qualified married couples that file jointly, and $1,400 for each dependent.

The package will also send federal funding to both the Department of Education and University of Hawai’i, the Department of Health for COVID-19 response, SNAP, childcare and Mediciad programs and rental and mortgage assistance.
Source: The Garden Island

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