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People in line at a coronavirus testing site in San Fernando, California, on Nov. 23. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

With a federal coronavirus stimulus bill stalled in Congress, some state legislatures are attempting to pass their own relief bills to help small, local business owners, the unemployed and renters as the pandemic rages on.

Why it matters: Lawmakers have been unable to agree on a second stimulus package to date, leaving states to defend their economies against another wave of COVID-19 that is expected to get worse.

New Mexico lawmakers on Tuesday passed a $330 million relief bill that includes a one-time $1,200 payment to unemployed workers and up to $50,000 for some businesses, according to AP.

  • It also gives immigrants across the state without legal status stimulus checks and added funds to use at food banks, for virus testing and contact tracing programs.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) announced in November he would call the state legislature back for a rare special session to consider multiple relief bills.

  • If passed, the bills would allow restaurants and bars to retain sales tax for a limited time, give relief to small businesses and provide housing and rental assistance, according to Colorado Public Radio.
  • Members of the state's budget committee have said they would be comfortable with a stimulus package of around $200 million.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) released a $541 million relief plan in November but Republicans, who control the legislature, have not said whether they will work to pass the plan, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) said on Wednesday the state is close to passing a bipartisan pandemic relief package after he and state House Republicans unveiled differing initiatives earlier this week, according to AP.

Go deeper... Biden's Day 1: Stimulus stall

Go deeper

Jan 25, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Janet Yellen confirmed as Treasury secretary

Janet Yellen. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Senate voted 84-15 to confirm Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary on Monday.

Why it matters: Yellen is the first woman to serve as Treasury secretary, a Cabinet position that will be crucial in helping steer the country out of the pandemic-induced economic crisis.

Schumer rattles reconciliation saber

More than an aisle separates Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer, seen in the Senate Chamber after the Capitol siege. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Chuck Schumer is expected to telegraph, as soon as tonight, that he will use his political muscle to pass some of his party’s priorities — like President Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

Why it matters: While the Senate majority leader wants to work with Republicans on key legislation, advisers say, he will make clear that using the simple majority vote inherent in the budget reconciliation process is one of the big sticks at his disposal.

Scammers have stolen over $130 million in coronavirus-related schemes

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Over 100,000 Americans have collectively reported roughly $132 million in fraud losses from scams related to the coronavirus and government stimulus checks since the March start of the pandemic, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Why it matters: Coronavirus-related fraud complaints peaked in May when the IRS began sending its first round of stimulus checks. Congress recently proposed a second round of stimulus.