During this unprecedented time, GVF is eager to help our partners by providing them with the latest information and resources regarding COVID-19.
One of the ways GVF is committed to helping its partners is through offering informative webinars. GVF hosted its first webinar with Congresswoman Dean as its speaker.
“At this very challenging time in our world I want to once again thank Mad for her support and leadership. We are very lucky to have her representing our area. I also want to thank our partners for working with us and if we stick together, we’ll come through this stronger than ever,” said Rob Henry, GVF Executive Director.
Congresswoman Dean spoke to GVF partners regarding the recent bills passed by congress that includes the CARES Act.
Dean stated that two of the three bills passed were considered emergency packages that focused on COVID-19 testing, nutrition, and immediate help for small businesses. The third bill, the CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion-dollar bill, is to go towards mitigating the public health and economic crisis.
Before diving into what the CARES Act includes, Dean stated that “we know, and we believe that there is going to have to be a lot more done beyond mitigation to rebuild the economy and our public health system.”
The CARES Act includes the following:
$200 billion to hospitals
$150 billion to state and local government
Direct cash to individuals
Expanded and increased unemployment compensation
A massive SBA loan expansion
An important piece of the CARES Act, that effects our region directly, is the public transit piece. In order to support our public transit systems, $25 billion has been dedicated to help them continue to serve the public.
When asked how she envisions the CARES Act to be implemented within our district and region, Dean said, she sees it as a comprehensive layering. Right now, there has been a total seizing of personal and business cash flow. The bill focuses on layering in robust unemployment payments, SBA loans, and funding for local and state governments. SBA loans are to encourage businesses to retain as many employees as possible, so that when we do get through this crisis people will still have jobs. The direct cash, $1,200 per adult and $500 per child, is to help support individuals and families at this time, and funding for state and local government is to help our communities continue to run.
Dean repeatedly emphasized that businesses looking for support should be in immediate talks with their banks, and individuals should complete their 2019 tax return ASAP, in order to have direct deposit information on file with the IRS. Although there is no timeline at this time for when funds will be available, she stated it is important to begin the process now.
With transportation, most funding comes through the gas tax. This is how states match their funding for infrastructure projects. Dean was asked if states are unable to match funds needed to improve our infrastructure, is there a potential for an infrastructure stimulus package?
Dean responded by saying that every part of the conversation is about what’s next and there has already been discussion towards infrastructure investment. There was previous work being done with the Chairman of the Transportation Committee, Peter DeFazio, on a robust infrastructure package that they now believe will have to be a part of the next set of bills. Bill that will focus on rebuilding and recovery of our economy.
When asked how can we better prepare ourselves for a crisis like this in the future?
Dean explained the need for appropriate business insurance options that cover such a drastic disruption in business. She also mentioned that it could benefit companies to have remote work policies and technology in place for employees ahead of time.
Congresswoman Dean’s office is currently working remotely. You can find the latest most up to date information on her website at www.dean.house.gov.