Sen. Lankford holds tele-town hall

Mike Seals - April 1, 2020 8:35 am

Senator James Lankford (R-Okla) held a ‘Virtual Town Hall’ via telephone Tuesday afternoon.

Lankford opened the telephonic meeting with constituents by giving an overview of the current efforts to combat the COVID-19 virus.

He said that the Senate passed a bill totaling $8 Billion that contained a lot of money for various efforts, including money for the development of test kits for the virus, funding for the development of a vaccine, unemployment funding, and money available for small businesses, that is, businesses with less than 500 employees, equal to 2 and one half months of their salary costs, designed to allow business who otherwise would have to lay off their employees to keep them on the payroll.

Businesses who take advantage of this available funding will not, according to Lankford, be required to repay the money.

He also said that the bill included money for Senior Center assistance, equipment and protective items for hospitals, and perhaps most important, money for individual assistance for all Americans.

He said, “Go to IRS.GOV, if you don’t have a current relationship with the IRS, and you’ll find instructions on how to register for the individual assistance checks.” He mentioned the information can be found under the “Payroll Protection Program.”

The bill also extended unemployment insurance to the end of the year for anyone unemployed because of the virus, saying, “This provides a ‘safety net’ for people who don’t have a job.”

Lankford also said that the businesses that qualify for the assistance can be profit, or non-profit, even ‘faith-based.’

After his summary, he took questions from around the State, including questions about whether or not self-employed individuals are eligible (they are); supply of protective gear for hospitals (Oklahoma has received it’s share of the National stockpile, and hospitals should be seeing that soon); were same-day voter registration and halting of State voter ID laws in the recently-passed bill (they were removed before it was passed by the House); and, the outlook for oilfield workers with the price of oil nearing $20 a barrel (all workers, even if they’ve recently been on unemployment, will still be eligible for the unemployment support provided in the recent bill).


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