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Newsom Praises House Passage Of Federal COVID Relief Plan

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Sacramento, CA – The U.S. House of Representatives passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan early this morning – with no Republican support.

The legislation includes funding for vaccine production and distribution, another round of stimulus payments for many households, an extension of federal unemployment benefits, and more. Governor Gavin Newsom is praising the move stating that the “nationwide relief that’s essential for Californians hardest hit by the pandemic, and a measure that complements the state’s immediate stimulus package I signed this week.” Click here for details on that $7.6 billion package.

The legislation now heads to the Senate, where it is expected to pass but not before some changes could be made. Newsom had this message for senators, “I urge the Senate to now do its part and quickly approve this measure. As economic experts have made clear, the danger right now is doing too little in the way of relief, not too much. The path to recovery for all Americans remains uncertain, and now isn’t the time to slow down the support that people need.”

The governor also pledged “to work with our federal partners in the coming weeks to lay the foundation for an equitable and broad-based recovery.”

On Friday, Newsom reported that he expects California to start administering the new Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine next week. He detailed the Biden administration plans to send the state more than 1.1 million of the single-dose J&J shots in the next three weeks once it is approved for use by federal officials.

The news comes in the wake of the state announcing progress on its transition to a new centralized vaccine delivery system. Insurer Blue Shield received a no-bid, $15 million contract to create and administer the system, which 28 of 58 counties in that state will begin switching to on Monday.

California is seeing dramatic drops in virus cases and hospitalizations after record highs in early January bringing this response from Newsom. “There’s bright light at the end of the tunnel,” while visiting a vaccination center.