You Might Be Eligible for a $600 Stimulus

J.R. Heimbigner

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According to lawmakers, low-income workers in Oregon will receive $600 in stimulus funds. The funds would be distributed to Oregonians who applied for the Earned Income Tax Credit in 2020, a tax credit for low-income working families. According to the Oregon Department of Revenue, about 245,000 Oregonians are expected to be eligible, with payments limited to one per home.

“Cash payments make a huge difference in the lives of working families,” said Sen. Kathleen Taylor, D-Portland.

House Bill 4157 was passed by significant votes in both chambers of the Oregon Legislature, with a few Republicans joining the majority of Democrats in support. Governor Kate Brown will now sign it.

According to the state Department of Revenue, the payments would be made automatically for most eligible workers by the end of July. The payouts grew out of a concept for higher stimulus payments — up to $2,000 — to crucial workers who stayed on the job during the pandemic and those who returned to work last fall in 2021.

On the other hand, more targeted payouts would have been administratively burdensome and would have required workers to apply, according to the bill's sponsors. As a result, payments might have been delayed for months or even years.

“We’re focusing on our lowest-income communities who are really disproportionately impacted by a skyrocketing cost of living right now,” Rep. Andrea Valderrama, D-Portland said.

They said that directing the funds to low-income working families would help alleviate the pain of quick increases in expenses such as rent, gas, and groceries. The payments, including administrative costs, are estimated to total about $150 million and will be funded by federal pandemic help approved by Congress last year.

“We know that the wealth gap has only continued to widen since the pandemic,” state Rep. Rachel Prusak (D-West Linn) said. “This means rising costs disproportionately impact our lowest wage workers. With this legislation we’re reaching the working families and individuals whose hard work is essential and makes up the backbone of our economy.”

Are you looking forward to getting a little extra cash right now?

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