House Democrats in Oregon advanced a bill earlier this week that would provide a one-time $600 payment to low-income families with persons who worked during the first year of the COVID-19 outbreak.
After passing the House by a vote of 42-16, the bill passed the Senate by a vote of 23-2 this afternoon.
Senator Kathleen Taylor (D-Portland), Chair of the Senate Committee on Labor and Business, who pushed the bill to the Senate floor, said, “Low-wage workers are a key element of our economy and are also the most vulnerable to rising costs of everyday essentials.”
“Cash payments make a big difference in people’s lives and working families’ lives. They can assist with the payment of a utility bill, the purchase of necessary medicine, or the purchase of necessities such as diapers and groceries. Cash contributions can relieve stress, allowing families to cope with the challenges they confront daily. House Bill 4157 is a chance to show support for our low-wage workers who show up every day to do the jobs that keep our economy afloat.”
The payment is intended to help working families meet basic needs such as rent, groceries, medications, and childcare as the cost of living rises.
“Right now, many Oregonians, like myself, are struggling to make ends meet as the cost of living has increased,” said state Rep. Andrea Valderrama (D-Portland), the bill’s lead proponent. “These payments may make a big difference for low-income people and working families: they can assist pay a utility bill, buy medicine, or buy necessities like diapers and groceries.”
The payments will be made to those who qualified for and claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit on their 2020 personal income tax returns or filed an updated 2020 tax return by April 15. An estimated 250,000 Oregonians will be eligible, according to the Department of Revenue (DOR).
In a statement, state Rep. Rachel Prusak (D-West Linn) said, “We know that the income gap has only continued to increase since the outbreak.” “This means that rising expenses have a disproportionately negative impact on our lowest-paid employees.” With this legislation, we are reaching out to the hardworking families and individuals that are the backbone of our economy.”
- Stimulus Check Update: Is It Possible for the Enhanced Child Tax Credit to Return
- A Total of $700,000 in Stimulus Funds Will Be Disbursed. A Total of $700,000 in Stimulus Funds Will Be Disbursed
- The Florida Senate Has Passed a 15-week Abortion Ban and Has Sent It to the Governor
Eligible Oregonians will not need to fill out an application and will get checks or direct deposits as early as June.
Payments will be made through the Department of Revenue, with cash coming from the American Rescue Plan Act’s State Fiscal Recovery Fund program.
Gov. Kate Brown will now be asked to sign the law.