SPECIAL SESSION BILL PASSED
During the Special Session on Tuesday November 24th, the bill “HB1 Funding & Coronavirus Relief” passes.
What is in the bill:
- $194 million in direct unemployment assistance, providing for a one-time supplemental benefit of $1,200 to each state unemployment claimant who is eligible for state or federal pandemic unemployment programs or was eligible but has exhausted their benefits under those programs since Sept. 12;
- $100 million for a grant program for New Mexico-owned small businesses;
- $15 million to provide emergency housing assistance;
- $5 million for emergency food bank services;
- $5 million for direct economic assistance to low-income residents, in the form of a one-time $750 disbursement per household, who did not receive an “economic impact payment” from the federal government; and
- Other funding necessary to support the administrative organization and execution of these programs.
Also discussed, businesses conducting 100% percent employee testing will not be considered for closure. In an effort to increase proactive COVID-19 testing of New Mexico’s workforce and avoid additional temporary restrictions on essential businesses, the New Mexico Departments of Health and Environment have implemented a voluntary surveillance testing and contact tracing agreement to enable businesses to prevent mandatory 14-day closures triggered by state rapid responses to COVID-19 cases.
Funding for these programs will be made available through a transfer of previously received federal CARES Act funds to the appropriation account of the state general fund.