Coronavirus Stimulus Checks For Texas: Gov. Abbott Signs Senate Bill 8 Allocating Federal Funding

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Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 8, which allocates almost $16 billion in federal funding awarded to the state. These funds will be used for a variety of programs and could mean coronavirus stimulus checks for Texans.

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Indirect Coronavirus Stimulus Checks For Texas

On Nov. 8, Abbott signed the bill earmarking funds from the American Rescue Plan Act approved earlier this year and signed into law by President Joe Biden in March. These funds were allocated to help Texas with its fiscal recovery.

"Senate Bill 8 allocates federal funding to support Texans in need, including our veterans, rural communities, small businesses and frontline workers," Abbott said in a statement.

Senate Bill 8 distributes the funds via several programs, including for infrastructure, unemployment, tourism, hospitals and more. Many of these programs could directly benefit residents, possibly including coronavirus stimulus checks for Texans.

For instance, the bill allocates $7.2 billion to the Unemployment Compensation Fund, $150 million towards betterment of the state's 911 service, and $180 million for the recovery of the tourism, travel and hospitality industry. Further, the bill allocates about $500 million for broadband infrastructure and $160 million to meet the VOCA (Victims of Crime Act) shortfall.

Senate Bill 8 also sets aside funds for hospitals, including $75 million for rural hospitals affected by COVID-19. The bill also allocates $2 billion to state and local hospitals for antibody therapeutic drugs, operation of regional antibody infusion centers, and staffing. It also sets aside $113 million to support mental health services for Texas children and families.

For frontline workers, the bill allocates $378.3 million toward staffing requirements. The money will specifically go toward recruitment, retention bonuses for nursing facilities emergency medical services providers.

Separately, the bill also allocates $35 million to upgrade all nine Texas State Veteran Homes, isolation rooms for COVID-19 wards, and for HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) for homes. The bill also allocates $95 million to food banks.

Senate Bill 8: Not The Only Stimulus From Texas

Senate Bill 8 has been long overdue. In May, Abbott told lawmakers that he would call a special session in the fall to allocate the federal funds.

A point to note is that Senate Bill 8 is not the only stimulus money that Texas has sent to its residents. For instance, the Denton Irving district in Texas recently approved sending a $500 retention bonus.

Several other states are also sending stimulus checks to their residents. For instance, California continues to send payments under the Golden State Stimulus II program. The checks under the Golden State Stimulus program range from $600 to $1,100.