As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, millions of Americans received a one-time $1,200 stimulus check to help with financial issues caused by the global pandemic. Now, months later, many people are hoping for more assistance from the government.
Congress is currently hashing out another stimulus package, with politicians debating what should be included in it. Some feel it should give out another one-time $1,200 check, others think it should instead provide a tax break, while some Senators want to see a monthly $2,000 check in it. While there is no word on what exactly it might hold, because some politicians want to keep the bill's price tag low, a monthly $2,000 check is very unlikely. However, there is one place in America that's offering it.
Couples in Skagway, Alaska are enjoying $2,000 a month from Uncle Sam, and they'll be paid it through the end of the year. The town's municipal government passed a resolution this month to provide stimulus checks to the 1,100 year-round residents, who have all been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. To receive the money, they just need proof that they were permanent Skagway residents on or before June 4th, when the act was passed. If so, they can get paid $1,000 for every household member, including kids, for the next six months.
There are some limitations - the amount is capped at $1,000 but could be less since it is based on need. Also, residents must explain how they plan to use the money, signing an application and providing proof of unpaid bills for necessary living expenses. Among the ways it could be spent are on housing costs, utilities, groceries, household needs, insurance or other necessary expenses. Property taxes and marijuana products are not covered.
Since many residents work seasonal jobs and the town relies heavily on summer tourism, mainly from cruise ships, they have been and will be hit hard this year. That's why the town decided to enact the financial relief. They are using $1.4 million from the $2.9 million they got thanks to the CARES Act to fund the monthly checks.
As for why Skagway can do this while no other city is? According to Alaskan public radio station KHNS, it's because they have "few residents and a healthy municipal savings account." Assemblyman Steve Burnham, Jr. explained, "We’re fiscally sound. I don’t know if other municipalities can do the same. I mean, I’m not saying that we’re able to pay every resident’s last salary and things like that, but we’re okay trying to put our resources to use to make that blow that everyone’s feeling a lot less. And we’re trying to do that as quick as we can."
We'll find out if the rest of America might be able to experience something like monthly checks once Congress decides on what, if any, stimulus package they plan to pass, though that probably won't happen until August.
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