Jamey Helgeson: Congressional leaders announce coronavirus deal

Published 6:30 am Saturday, January 2, 2021

By Jamey Helgeson

On Dec. 20, Congressional leaders announced a bipartisan, bicameral COVID relief and omnibus appropriations deal. The deal includes $1.4 trillion to fund the federal government through the end of fiscal year 2021 and $900 billion for COVID relief.

According to current available summaries, the COVID relief legislation unfortunately takes minimal action on the following:

• Dedicated funding for Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) to serve people with disabilities in their homes and communities and provide better wages and support for the direct support professional (DSP) workforce was not included.

• Personal protective equipment (PPE) for DSPs through designation as essential workers was not included.

• Paid leave and sick days for all caregivers were not included in the emergency paid leave provisions. The legislation extended tax credits available for businesses to cover paid leave, but it eliminated rules about when businesses must provide leave and did not extend the tax credits to cover all caregivers as the pandemic continues.

• Economic impact payments for all people with disabilities. While the bill does include a one-time $600 payment per adult and child under the age of 17, it does not include any payment for dependents who are over the age of 17. This excludes more than 400,000 individuals who claim adults with disabilities as dependents.

Drive-Thru Chicken Dumpling Soup and Chili Supper                                       

4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021 at LIFE Mower County, 401 2nd Ave NE, Austin

Reserve your meals in advance by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 by visiting here (https://form.jotform.com/202875195462058). Tickets are $8 per adult and $6 per child (12 and under). Pay with cash or check upon arrival. Meals include your choice of chicken dumpling soup and or chili, garlic bread, dessert, and crackers. Volunteers can register here.  Drive-up orders are also welcome.

Every donation, large or small, will help cut expenses and increase profits: We need boneless chicken, hamburger, carrots, celery, and financial donations to purchase other items.  Call the LIFE Mower County office at 507-433-8994 today and let us know how you can help.

All fundraising done by the People First Aktion Club is for self-advocacy training and community services projects decided on by the group. Support these self-advocates that give back to those that have supported them.

Upcoming Events

Monday: Virtual Trivia at 10 a.m. and Virtual 1:1 Video Chats at 1:30 p.m.

Tuesday: Virtual Game Night, 6 p.m.

Thursday: Virtual Crafts, 4 p.m.

Friday: Virtual Twist and Shout Dance Party, 6 p.m.

Saturday: Virtual Lunch Bunch, noon

Jan. 11: Virtual Movie Critics, 10 a.m.

Jan. 12: Virtual People First Aktion Club at 4 p.m. and Virtual Ladies Night, 6 p.m.

Jan. 14: Virtual Happy Hour, 4 p.m.

Jan. 15: Virtual Movie Night, 6 p.m.