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A health care worker administering a coronavirus vaccine at a mass vaccination site in Oakland, Calif., on Feb. 16. Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Multiple states have passed or are considering economic relief bills as the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus plan makes its way through Congress, AP reports.

Why it matters: The state aid packages aim to help jobless residents and struggling small businesses devastated by the pandemic. But the individual action also bolsters arguments against another major cash infusion from the federal government.

State aid packages:

  • Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed legislation last week featuring $300 one-time payments for individuals, $500 payments to families and up to $9,000 in sales tax relief for small businesses.
  • North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) recently unveiled a $695 million emergency budget proposal that, if passed, would include bonuses for educators and school staff, hazard pay for state law enforcement, funding for rural broadband and relief for small businesses.
  • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) signed legislation in January that uses $145 million in reserves from workers' compensation funds for grants of up to $50,000 for bars, restaurants and hotels.
  • New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has not yet signed a relief plan that would provide $200 million in direct grants to businesses, a $600 tax rebate to low-wage workers and a four-month tax holiday for restaurants.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a $7.6 billion relief package this week that includes $600 in one-time payments for about 5.7 million residents and around $2 billion for struggling businesses.

The big picture: The House is set to vote on the Biden administration’s coronavirus stimulus plan that covers:

  • Stimulus checks of up to $1,400 per person for Americans making up to $75,000 a year.
  • Increased weekly unemployment insurance up to $400 a week and an extension of those benefits through August.
  • $130 billion for K-12 schools, and roughly $40 billion for higher education.
  • $350 billion for state and local governments.
  • Raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Go deeper

Feb 23, 2021 - Health

California to provide $600 stimulus payments to 5.7 million people

Gov. Gavin Newsom during a Feb. 12 news conference in San Francisco. Photo: Gabrielle Lurie/Pool/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has pledged to sign into law Tuesday a measure to provide some 5.7 million people with at least $600 in one-off payments as part of a state COVID-19 relief package.

Driving the news: State lawmakers on Monday overwhelmingly voted for the bill, designed to help people on lower incomes through the pandemic.

GOP senators unveil $10 minimum wage hike proposal

Photo: Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Tuesday unveiled the details of their proposal to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2025.

Why it matters: The Republican proposal comes as Congressional Democrats are pushing for a bill, backed by President Joe Biden and included in the broader $1.9 trillion stimulus package, that would increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.

First look: Hawley to introduce alternative to minimum wage hike

Photo by Erin Scott/pool/AFP via Getty Images.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is jumping on the minimum wage bandwagon and will introduce an alternative to Democrats' proposal on Wednesday that would use federal dollars to increase low-earning workers' income, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Hawley, a Trump-style Republican who's considered a likely 2024 presidential contender, is breaking with the mainstream GOP orthodoxy in suggesting that he believes the federal minimum wage is too low.