(This story has been updated at 6:12 p.m. on March 18, 2020.): Congress and the Trump administration are racing to provide economic relief to everyday Americans affected by the corona-virus, andone leading proposal would m
ean cutting you a $1,200 check, and here’s how that would work:
Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday said that the proposal would involve cutting two checks with the first check sent out three weeks after a relief bill is passed.
Under the GOP bill released Thursday afternoon, American adults would receive $1200 each, and $500 per child.
The payments would begin to phase out for individuals making over $75,000 and phase out completely for those making over $99,000.
If six weeks later the country still reeled from the crisis, the government would cut another check for the same amount, at a cost of $500 billion total, Mnuchin added.
The White House plan would also send $300 billion to small businesses and $200 billion to the Federal Reserve.
Key background: This $1,200 per person number in the GOP bill doesn’t come out of thin air. One week’s pay for a typical full-time working American is $936, according to Labor Department data, as reported by the Washington Post.
What to watch for: A relief bill may face opposition on Capitol Hill. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer argued on Wednesday that sending one to two checks isn’t enough, as CNBC notes. Schumer would rather boost the unemployment insurance program, which was established in 1935 under the Social Security Act. The current average payment under this program is just $375.
Tangent: Unemployment offices are under increased strain as a result of the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus. On Monday, the unemployment insurance websites for New York and Oregon crashed because of increased traffic, according to the Washington Post.
Surprising fact: This would not be the first time the U.S. government has handed out money. During the Great Recession, the IRS sent almost every adult $300 to $600 through direct deposits or paper checks. If you ended up making over a certain amount of money, you ended up having to “pay it back” in the following year’s tax return. The federal government also sent Americans a check in 2001, with most Americans receiving $300.
Dedicated Shopping Hours for Seniors Several retailers have created dedicated shopping hours for seniors to shop for groceries without crowds of other people. Retailers include: Whole Foods: Customers age 60 and older can shop daily an hour before stores open to the general public. So, if a store opens at 9 a.m., for example, seniors have access at 8 a.m. When: Policy is already in effect. Target: The first hour of shopping each Wednesday is reserved for the elderly and other vulnerable populations, such as those with compromised immune systems. When: Policy is already in effect. Jewel-Osco: Senior shoppers are being given priority on from 7-9 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. When: Policy is already in effect. Mariano’s: The grocer has set aside two hours daily — 6 to 8 a.m. — for seniors and those with underlying health conditions. When: Policy is already in effect.
Walmart: Customers ages 60 and older can shop every Tuesday an hour before stores open. Walmart pharmacies and vision centers will also be open during this time. When: Starting Tuesday, March 24 through April 28.
Tony’s Fresh Market: Senior priority shopping hours are in effect 7-9 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays. When: Beginning Tuesday, March 24.
I recap the credit card industry. I’m the CEO of LowCards.com.
Contact Your Credit Card Issuer: Fees or Payments May Be Waived Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
Your credit card company may cut you some slack during the coronavirus pandemic. With job cuts, furloughs and business closings, credit card companies are preparing for some cardholders to have problems making their monthly bills. Credit card issuers have programs that can help cardholders when they need assistance. [USA Today]
Credit Card Fraud During Coronavirus: Here’s What to Look Out For
You should always exercise caution when receiving emails with attachments or phone calls from someone you don’t know. But as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, hackers may be leveraging your vulnerability to steal your personal data, including your information on your credit card. Here are some specific tips for staying safe and protecting yourself against credit card fraud during this time. [CNBC]
Millions of Americans Will Soon Run Out of Money. Here’s How to Deal with Bills You Can’t Pay.
The coronavirus has infected the global economy and millions of Americans now out of work are trying to figure out what to do with no paycheck coming in. It’s scary to see the bills piling up and no money coming in. Start looking for things you can do to ease the financial strain. Some relief is already in place and more steps are being taken every day to help you get through this difficult time. [NBC News]
SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) advanced legislation that would expand peer-led civics education to juvenile detention centers.
“When young people are released from incarceration, we need to let them know about their restored voting rights and that we value their civic participation,” Peters said. “Our justice system needs to be rehabilitative and teach people how to be responsible citizens, and that includes how to exercise their voices in our democracy.”
Senator Peters passed the Re-Entering Citizens Civics Education Act last year, which requires the Department of Corrections to provide peer-led civics education courses to incarcerated people who will be released within 12 months. His new bill will expand those courses to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
“Whether a child is in our juvenile justice system or our public school system, they deserve to learn about their civic rights and duties,” Peters said.
This measure also clarifies that the civics courses must include 270 minutes of instruction taught by two co-facilitators. The co-facilitators must be trained by nonpartisan civil organizations.
Senate Bill 3241 passed the Senate Criminal Law Committee and awaits consideration before the full Senate.
CITY OF CHICAGO ORDERS SICK RESIDENTS TO REMAIN HOME TO PREVENT FURTHER SPREAD OF COVID-19
Executive Order requires residents with illness to take further precautions until they recover
CHICAGO– At the direction of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady today signed a Public Health Order requiring all residents in the City of Chicago with confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) illness or who are exhibiting symptoms of the illness to stay home to help stem the further spread of the virus. Under the Order, any resident of the City of Chicago diagnosed with COVID-19 or exhibiting symptoms, with few exceptions, may not leave their place of residence, go to work or any group settings. Sick residents will, however, be permitted to seek essential services, including necessary clinical care or evaluation, and life sustaining needs, such as obtaining medicine or food.
“During this unprecedented crisis, we must move quickly and in the best interest of the public. Restricting the movements of those who have COVID-19 or who are symptomatic is the best way to prevent the virus from spreading further,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “We are implementing today’s order to ensure a precise and data-driven response to the trends of this illness and, following recommendations by our City’s public health experts, believe that these heightened measures are necessary to contain the virus and protect our residents. We must be all in this together, and people who are sick must stay home to protect themselves and the public.”
These new rules will remain in effect until the Commissioner of CDPH makes a written determination that the threat to public health posed has diminished. Anyone who violates the Order could be subject to citations issued by the Chicago Police Department or CDPH.
“This move may seem severe to some but in this highly evolving situation it’s absolutely what we need to do at this time as we work to contain this outbreak,” said Dr. Arwady. “We’ve been working daily for well over two months now with our partners at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on tracking this virus and assessing its course, using data to inform our decisions and following the science. This is the right thing to do in this moment.”
“COVID-19 Illness” means demonstrating symptoms of acute respiratory disease, including, but not limited to, new onset of fever, cough, shortness of breath, congestion in the nasal sinuses or lungs, sore throat, body aches, or unusual fatigue. A person is considered to have COVID-19 illness until such person is free of fever (100.4° F (38.0° C) or greater using an oral thermometer), and any of the other symptoms described herein, for at least 72 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).
As the City continues to respond to COVID-19 it will pursue additional measures as needed to contain the virus. The City urges residents who are mandated to stay at home and who do not have access otherwise to contact 311 to be connected with food options.
Today’s announcement is part of the City’s exhaustive response to the COVID-19, which is intended to keep the public safe, contain the spread of the virus, and provide relief to the healthcare system. In recent days Mayor Lightfoot’s administration has announced a number of measures to enhance the City’s emergency response on COVID-19, with new guidelines built to reduce non-essential services, increase teleworking to protect the health and safety of the workforce, and lift the economic burden placed on residents—all while ensuring that essential City services can be continued.
More information and updates on COVID-19 can be found on the IDPH website, the CDPH website, and the CDC website. Residents can seek more information and updates on COVID-19, tune into CDPH’s “The Doctor Is In” Livestream M-F at 11am, for mobile updates, text COVID19 to 78015 or email: .
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