Floridians can expect financial help in the $2 trillion federal relief package

The U.S. Capitol. Credit: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

UPDATE: State and local governments in Florida will receive an estimated $8.3 billion out of a $150 billion program in the $2.2 trillion CARES Act signed into law by President Donald Trump on Friday, according to an analysis from Florida TaxWatch.

Based on population, Florida’s share of the aid will include $3.7 billion for local governments and $4.6 billion for the state government, the report said.

“Governments may only use these funds for ‘necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).’ The expenditures must be incurred between March 1, 2020 and Dec. 30, 2020,” TaxWatch said.

Florida will be line for a portion of other benefits in the CARES Act, although TaxWatch was not able to provide an exact breakdown for the state’s share. These programs include:

–$45 billion for the Disaster Relief Fund for the immediate needs of state and local governments.

–$30.75 billion for an Education Stabilization Fund for states, including $13.5 billion for formula grants for school districts, $14.25 billion for higher education institutions and $3 billion to be used at each governor’s discretion for emergency grants to schools most impacted by the virus.

–$31.1 billion in aid for health agencies, transit systems, National Guard deployment and election security grants.

Here’s the prior story:

With President Donald Trump’s expected signature, Florida should be in line for its share of help from a $2 trillion economic relief bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The largest economic relief package in American history will provide direct checks to individuals and families, up to $1,200 per individual.

It also expands unemployment benefits and provides funding for hospitals and other health-care providers dealing with the corona virus. And it will provide financial assistance to small businesses and $500 billion in loans to major companies that have been hit by the economic slowdown.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday afternoon that state officials were just beginning to dissect the legislation to determine its impact on the nation’s third largest state, which currently has 2,900 coronavirus infections that have resulted in 34 deaths.

“My staff as well as the staff in the Legislature are looking at all of the details of this big relief bill that has been passed. We’re looking through all of that to try to see how that affects the state of Florida,” DeSantis said at an afternoon press conference.

“And obviously anything that can help our residents, we want to make them aware of it, so that they can help themselves and their families.”

Most Floridians will receive a direct payment of $1,200 if they make up to $75,000 a year, or $2,400 for couples making up to $150,000, according to the bill.

The relief package will boost unemployment benefits to qualified Florida workers by $600 a week. It will be on top of the up to $275 a week, workers receive through the state system.

The state and local governments will be able to access a portion of $150 billion to pay for some of their costs in dealing with the virus outbreak.

Small businesses in Florida, which have had to close or lay off workers, can apply for loans through a $367 billion fund.

Another $130 billion is set aside for hospitals and health-care facilities that are providing care for COVID-19 patients.

And some larger Florida companies may be able to qualify for support from a $500 billion loan fund that is aimed in part to help the airlines and aviation industry. Some $17 billion of the fund is earmarked for “businesses critical to maintaining national security,” according to the legislation.

Marco Rubio
Marco Rubio is shown in December 2018. Credit: Rubio’s Senate office

Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio highlighted the small-business loan provision, which can be used for companies employing up to 500 workers, after the Senate passed the bill in a 96-0 vote earlier this week.

“Our bipartisan small business package, which was included, will provide emergency relief so that millions of American workers can keep their jobs and millions of small businesses can stay open,” Rubio said in a statement.

“As our nation works to contain the spread of the coronavirus, I remain in close contact with the Trump Administration and Gov. DeSantis to ensure that Florida has the resources it needs during this public

health crisis.”