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Photo: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New York will offer one-time payments of up to $15,600 to undocumented immigrants who lost work due to COVID-19, the state legislature announced this week.

Why it matters: Part of the state's 2021-2022 budget, the $2.1 billion fund is the biggest of its kind in the U.S., signaling the state's progressive-driven agenda, the New York Times reports.

How it works: Undocumented workers will be able to receive the equivalent of $300 per week for the last year, up to $15,600. They must verify that they were New York residents, ineligible for federal unemployment benefits and lost income because of the pandemic.

  • Those who can prove at least their residency and identity with some work documentation are eligible for a smaller sum up to $3,200.

For comparison: California set up a similar fund last year but capped it at $75 million, offering immigrants a $500 one-time payment on a first-come, first-served basis.

The big picture: The fund was an issue of contentious debate among lawmakers.

  • Republicans accused Democrats of enacting a "radical agenda" rather than helping other struggling New Yorkers, per Spectrum News.
  • Some Democrats from swing districts privately said the program could be weaponized against them in future elections, according to the Times.
  • A group of progressive lawmakers camped out overnight in the Capitol after budget discussion broke down.

Go deeper

11 mins ago - World

Israel's "change bloc" collapses, leaving Netanyahu in charge

Bennett (L) with Netanyahu in 2015. Photo: Gali Tibbon/AFP via Getty Images

In a dramatic shift that comes amid fighting in the Gaza strip and clashes between Jewish and Arab citizens in Israel, right-wing kingmaker Naftali Bennett has announced he will no longer seek an alternative government to oust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Why it matters: Bennett had been on the verge of a power-sharing deal with centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid that would have made him prime minister for two years until Lapid rotated into the job. Without Bennett, Lapid has no path to a majority, and Israel will almost certainly head for its fifth election since 2019 with Netanyahu still in his post.

CDC says fully vaccinated people don't have to wear masks indoors

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Erin Clark-Pool/Getty Images

The CDC announced in new guidance Thursday that anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, regardless of crowd size.

What they're saying: "If you are fully vaccinated, you are protected, and you can start doing the things that you stopped doing because of the pandemic," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will say at a White House press briefing.

Colonial Pipeline reportedly paid hackers nearly $5 million in ransom

Photo: Logan Cyrus/AFP via Getty Images

Colonial Pipeline paid hackers linked to the DarkSide cybercrime group nearly $5 million in cryptocurrency after last week's ransomware attack, Bloomberg first reported and the New York Times confirmed.

Why it matters: The breach of the largest refined fuels pipeline in the U.S. triggered new concerns about the vulnerability of the country's increasingly digitized energy systems.