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Stay up to date with the latest news on the coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. We'll post regular updates from NPR and regional news from the WRVO newsroom. You can also find updates on our live blog.

Coronavirus relief bill includes billions in rental assistance, schools, vaccine distribution for NY

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
Sen. Schumer with Dan Mastronardi (center), owner of the Westcott Theater in Syracuse, advocating the Save Our Stages Act, which was included in the relief bill.

Congress passed a COVID-19 relief deal Monday night. The bill includes $600 dollar stimulus checks, as well as rent and eviction relief. This bill is a bit different from the last stimulus package in the spring.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer said that unlike the last relief bill, this time, green card holders will also be eligible for stimulus checks.

Schumer said that New York state will also receive nearly $1.5 billion in emergency rental assistance.

“This is some good news for New York but this is not and cannot be the end of the story,” Schumer said. "Those who think that this bill is enough, haven't heard the desperation in the eyes of a small business owner who is on the brink of ruin. They haven't seen a grandson or granddaughter say goodbye to grandma on Zoom. So there's so much more to be done."

A federal eviction moratorium will continue until the end of January. It could be extended further by the next presidential administration.

The senator said that while state and local governments have separate laws about how long they can postpone evictions, whichever lasts longer would apply.

The bill also includes a nearly $6 billion Education Stabilization Fund for public schools and universities in New York, and nearly $2 billion for state-wide vaccine distribution and contact tracing efforts.

Noelle E. C. Evans is a general assignment reporter/producer for WXXI News with a background in documentary filmmaking and education.