Local lawmakers react to proposed stimulus bill

HEALS Act

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced a new $1 trillion coronavirus relief bill that could provide funding for schools, unemployent benefits, and a second round of stimulus checks.

The stimulus bill is referred to as the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools, or HEALS Act.

The big topic of discussion surrounding this bill is the additional $600 per week in unemployment benefits that are set to expire Friday.

“The Congressional Budget Office has given us an analysis which shows that about 80 percent of our folks are making more on unemployment than they made in their job,” Sen. John Kennedy, R-Louisiana, said. “I don’t blame them for taking a larger sum of money but we have to [incentivize] people to go back to work.”

The bill proposes the $600 be replaced with $200 per week. The bill also offers billions of dollars to schools that will re-open.

“The HEALS Act includes $105 billion for education, $29 billion for higher education, $70 billion for K-12 and $5 billion for flexible funding for governors,” Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-Louisiana, said.

The HEALS Act would include a second round of $1,200 checks to Americans who earn $75,000 or less.

“I’ve been advocating that we kind of equalize that treatment that parents get a little bit more per child recognizing the difficulty of childcare and other things,” Cassidy said.

Unlike the first stimulus package, there is no age cap on the extra payments for dependents.

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