Senator Boles: Together we can save lives

By State Senator Denyc Boles,

How heart warming it was to see 10,000 mask kits quickly picked up this week on Mission Street in response to a community request from Salem Health to assist with needed masks for their staff. Time and again Oregonians rise to help their community.

During times like these, small volunteer efforts improve both our own mental health and community resilience. Another meaningful way to give back, is by scheduling an appointment with Red Cross to donate blood. Blood is needed for patients and it may be used to develop promising plasma treatment for COVID-19. If you are healthy and able to drive to an appointment, check out or call 1-800-Red-Cross (1-800-733-2767).

Together we can save lives.

Federal Update:

Today the House passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act or the $2 Trillion-dollar relief and economic stimulus package that’s been in the news. What that means for you:

Individual payments of $1,200 per individual, $2,400 per couple and $500 per child for most Americans. And a reminder, the tax filing date for BOTH federal and Oregon income tax has moved to July 15,2020.

Extension of Unemployment Insurance benefits from 3 months to 4 months and temporary compensation of $600/month in addition to the UI benefit.
$350 billion in funds available to small businesses through the Small Business Administration economic disaster loans program mentioned earlier.

Extends Real ID requirement deadline for state compliance to September 2021. This is great news for Oregon, as DMV was not going to be able to start issuing these until July and the original deadline for compliance was this October.
$30 billion to Education Stabilization Fund aimed at assisting states in keeping their kids receiving critical education needs at a time many schools have closed.

State Update:

The Joint Special Covid-19 Response Committee met last week as well as earlier this week for several hours each time. Many priorities were discussed around economic relief and household stability, including rental assistance, small business supports, child care needs for first responders, education alternatives for our kids, and of course how to secure necessary PPE for our first responders. We are now waiting to hear when Governor Brown will call a special session in response to COVID-19.

Stay Current on Covid-19:

For up to date on COVID-19 the CDC continues to have regular updates on cases by state and county as well as tips for all types of settings to assist with social distancing measures and to stay healthy They’ve also started many of their public service announcements which you have seen while watching your favorite shows.

We are almost through the initial 15 day push to slow the spread of COVID-19, AND it’s Friday! Hang in there Oregon we will make it.