TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Money from the federal government could be on the way for small businesses and hospitals in Kansas.
On Tuesday the Senate passed a new economic relief bill with almost $500 billion in it.
That includes $331 billion for the small business loan program. That offers businesses loans that they don’t have to pay back if they use the money to pay workers or rehire furloughed workers. It also includes $75 billion to be given to hospitals.
The bill also includes $25 billion dollars to be used on testing for coronavirus.
Kansas Senator Jerry Moran said more than $21 million of that testing money should be going straight to Kansas, which he thinks is critical to reopening our state.
“If the president or the governor announced that it’s ok to go back to work, there’s going to be a lot of people who take advantage of that. They’re going to be anxious to go. But there’s also going to be people that want to be certain that it’s the right thing to do for their health, their family’s health, their kids, their senior parents,” Moran said. “If we could get people tested, we could get a long way toward controlling the virus, but also toward giving people a level of comfort that it’s ok to go back to work.”
He said he and his team have also been working to make sure Kansas gets its fair share from the federal stockpile of tests. They’re working with private businesses to figure out how to make more tests for our state.
Senator Moran also said while he fully supported this bill he thinks there’s a limit to what the government should be spending on pandemic relief.
“We cannot spend enough money to solve our country’s problems unless we get ourselves back to work with an economy that’s providing wages and salaries to Kansans and Americans. That doesn’t mean I’m not interested in future things,” Moran said. “I would say we need to take a look at what’s left. I would say spend more money on research or science for the vaccine to get that vaccine sooner.”
Senator Moran said he encourages Kansas business owners to apply for the money as soon as possible, because last time it ran out. On the last round of funding more than 26,000 Kansas businesses got some of the money, according to Moran.