House Bill 4019: Allocate new federal coronavirus relief dollars to schools: Passed 59 to 50 in the House
To appropriate $868.5 million in recently-approved federal coronavirus relief money, which is about 25% of the entire amount available to the state, with the rest to be allocated later. The appropriation directs $510 million federal dollars to expand food stamp distributions and related programs; $165.5 million for household rent and utility subsidies; $143.7 million for coronavirus testing and contact tracing; and smaller amounts for other purposes.
House Bill 4048: Allocate new federal coronavirus relief dollars to schools: Passed 58 to 51 in the House
To revise school spending in the 2021-22 fiscal year to accommodate a $1.8 billion increase in federal coronavirus relief. The bill would allocate $1.490 billion to school districts, which they can spend on any of 15 specific activities listed in the federal relief bill. Among other items this bill also authorizes $86.7 million for non-public schools, $21 million for extra grants to summer school teachers, and more. The bill also appropriates $363 million state dollars to pay for extra “incentives” to get teachers back in public school classrooms. The bill is "tie-barred" to House Bill 4049, which transfers the power to close schools during an epidemic from the state health department to local health departments; this means the school spending bill can't become law unless that bill also becomes law.
House Bill 4049: Transfer power to close schools during epidemic from state health department to locals: Passed 57 to 52 in the House
To establish that the director of the Department of Health and Human Services does not have the authority to issue epidemic-related emergency orders that close schools for in-person instruction or prohibit school sporting events. The legislature gave this authority to the state health department director in the Public Health Code enacted in 1978; the bill would amend that law by instead giving this authority to local health departments.
House Bill 4047: Give grants to businesses “afflicted” by state coronavirus lockdowns: Passed 60 to 49 in the House
To appropriate $393.5 million state dollars to give property tax and other relief to “afflicted businesses” impacted by state coronavirus lockdowns including restaurants and bars, “exercise facilities, “recreation facilities or places of public amusement,” and “entertainment venues." Also, to appropriate $150 million to the state unemployment insurance system “for offsetting expected exposure to state fraud and improper payments" during the epidemic.
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