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Washington to receive billions of dollars for schools, transit cities as COVID-19 aid bill cleared by Congress

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OLYMPIA – dollars for COVID-19 vaccines և contact search. Assistance for K-12 schools. Child care financing. Assistance to state and local self-government bodies. Transit assistance.

The approval of the $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus aid package at the US House of Commons on Wednesday will send billions of dollars to Washington state as schools, businesses and governments begin to chart a year of recovery from the global epidemic.

The law, called the American Rescue Program, directs money laundering socks to Washington, including its cities and counties. The state is going to receive $ 1.9 billion for K-12 schools; $ 655 million for higher education institutions; և $ 635 million for childcare, according to D-Medina’s Susan DelBene’s office.

Washington will also receive $ 7.1 billion in aid to local, county and county governments, whose tax collection declined last year amid an economic downturn caused by the virus and restrictions on preventing outbreaks.

Of that, $ 4.25 billion will go to the state level as Olympia lawmakers prepare new, two-year budget proposals that fund everything from schools, parks, prisons, environmental programs, and social services.

Local government assistance includes money for each county, including $ 437 million for King County and $ 159.5 million for Snohomish County. The money for the cities includes $ 239 million for Seattle, $ 84.3 million for Spokane, $ 63 million for Tacoma and $ 25.5 million for Yakima.

The legislation is also expected to provide $ 800 million to Puget Sound transit agencies. And that’s $ 3 billion to help aerospace manufacturers meet their salaries, said Sen. Maria Cantwell,’s office.

The dollars come at the height of funding for a vaccination package to fight COVID-19, including $ 1,400 in stimulus tests and family support for children.

“It’s a massive relief package for people in pain,” said Pramila Ay Ayapal in Seattle in an interview. “Money in people’s pockets.”

According to Jayapal, one of the former COVID-19 aid packages passed by Congress is that small towns will receive aid dollars.

The new package sprays the money across communities across the state, from Arlington, Bottle և Buryen to Chela, Hokiam և Twips.

Funding is intended in part to reopen Washington’s K-12 schools. The money would help equip schools with protective gear and ventilation systems needed for safe reopening.

“I think this money will come out very, very quickly,” said ay ayapal.

DelBene welcomed the provision in the bill, which expands the Child Tax Credit, which, according to him, was modeled after his earlier proposal.

More about the epidemic relief event

According to the announcement, the component will provide regular payments of $ 300 per month per child per child, making it available to some low-income families who do not qualify.

In an interview, DelBene described it as “an incredibly important provision that will help halve child poverty across our country.”

“By increasing the loan, making sure that we increase the amount, make regular payments to families, [that] “It means we can hit millions of children fairly successfully,” DelBene added.

The House of Representatives was approved on Wednesday along party lines, with Jayapal, Del Been and five other Democrats voting in favor. Sunnyside Republicans Dan Newhouse, Battle Ground Jaime Herrera Beutler and Spokane’s Katie McMorris Rogers voted against.

In a statement, Herrera Beitler noted her support for previous COVID-19 aid packages and said she would support a narrower adaptation of the proposal.

But this package is “on the list of inflated wishful thinking items, such as clearing most of San Francisco’s budget deficit,” he said, delaying the distribution of some education funding in the coming years, which will not help reopen schools.

“Families in southwest Washington do not want that; this bill, in general, is not what America needs right now,” said Herrera Beitler in a prepared speech.

In a statement, Newhouse called the bill “a speaker for the far-left base of Speaker Pelosi,” and McMorris Rogers said it “simply fails to address the real needs of the American people.”

Seattle-elected officials said Wednesday they would discuss how to use the state aid in the coming weeks. In a statement, Mayor Durkan said he would propose a plan to “start our economic recovery, support the city’s small-scale neighborhood business, and address the potential needs of our residents, including the homeless.”

Seattle City Council Chairman M. Lorena Gonzalez said in a statement that the council will meet in the coming weeks to discuss how to spend $ 239 million on the city road.

He planned to use the funds for access to food, rent, mortgages, utilities, and child care. And he said the bill “saves our small business, especially the restaurant and hospitality industry.”

The US Rescue Program Act envisages another round of operational subsidies for transit agencies, including 11 in the Puget Sound area, which received a total of $ 521 million in cash by 2020.

Peter Rogoff, CEO of Sound Transit, predicts that the region could distribute $ 800 million this time, of which Sound Transit could see $ 260 million.

Those dollars continue to roll over buses, empty as usual, for essential trips և to provide for the driver և mechanic, despite temporary sales tax և loss of fare revenue.

The American Public Transportation Association says supporters’ goal is for federal aid to actually exceed the operating costs of urban transit systems, considering that they are taking on additional burdens, including cleaning, debts, or sudden staff changes.

Washington State Transit Identity accounts for about 42% of COVID levels, while Sound Transit’s weekly travel is about 20% of the norm.

At the national level, the bill provides $ 30.5 billion in transit և $ 1.7 billion to Amtrak by 2024.

For Sound Transit, these funds may include an additional $ 1.4 billion for 23 large transit megaprojects across the country that are already receiving partial grants from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

Two of these projects, the Light Railway to Linnwood and the Federal Road, are operated by Sound Transit. Rogoff expects Sound Transit to receive about $ 250 million.

He called the money a “significant advance” of $ 1.9 billion, which the agency is looking for in some future package, which, according to new Transport Secretary Pete Buttigig, is on its way. Rogoff’s number is based on the language adopted by the chamber last year, which will increase FTA grants to fully cover half of the 23 mega-projects.

The package goes to President Biden’s desk for his signature.

Breaking National reporters Mike Lindblum and David Gatman իմ Br’s Brunner contributed to this report.

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