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Sinema: Federal Coronavirus Bill Includes More Funding For Hospital, Workers, Governments

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote Wednesday on a more than $2 trillion coronavirus response bill that includes economic relief for various sectors and everyday people.

U.S. Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema told KJZZ’s The Show that bipartisan negotiations have resulted in additional $55 million for hospitals and health care workers from the Senate’s original proposal bringing the fund’s new total to $150 billion. 

“This is huge as Arizona systems will soon be overwhelmed,” she said.

The bill would also expand unemployment benefits for workers. 

“Right now, the cap on unemployment insurance in Arizona is $240 a week,” Sinema said. “So this adds up to $600 more per week which allows someone who's been laid off or furloughed to be able to pay their rent and feed their family.” 

Sinema said a $150 billion relief fund for state, county, city and tribal governments that wasn’t part of the Senate’s original proposal has also been added to the bill. 

“I’ve been talking with mayors in rural Arizona over the last few days … and they’re already telling me about huge hits that they’re taking in their towns because of the virus including running out of food in their food pantries,” she said. 

The bill would also establish a $30 billion Disaster Relief Fund that would move additional financial assistance to state, local, tribal and territorial governments as well as private nonprofits providing critical and essential services.

The bill includes a separate $10 million for tribal government services and programs, including $2 billion for the Indian Health Services.

→  Read The Latest News On The Coronavirus Disease 

Rocio Hernandez was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2022.