Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Iowa Senator Joni Ernst spoke during a press conference on Friday and discussed the financial relief that Iowa has received in recent weeks and will receive in the weeks to come.
Reynolds broke down the state's allocation from the coronavirus relief fund.
215 million dollars is going to "relief for businesses and families," 100 million dollars to "relief for Iowa farmers," 125 million dollars to "relief for Iowa communities," 50 million dollars to "relief for Iowa health care providers," 85 million dollars to "relief for expanding access Tele-work, Tele-health and Tele-learning" and 125 million dollars to "the state response for COVID-19."
Ernst discussed the funding that Iowa has received from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans under the CARES act.
"Through May 23, Iowa businesses have received over five billion dollars in loans," Ernst said. "We have fought to ensure that our county hospitals, rural electric co-operatives and some of our non-profit colleges were able to receive PPP loans and they are now able to do that."
The Iowa health care system and rural providers have received lots of money, according to Ernst.
"We've been able to secure over 336 million dollars for Iowa hospitals and health care providers as well as 383 million dollars for rural providers and over 11 million dollars for the state's community health centers," Ernst said.
Ernst said there are some ongoing efforts to keep businesses that have been affected by COVID-19 afloat.
"We're working on securing access to PPP funds for many of our news outlets, especially locally owned media," Ernst said. "We're working to provide flexibility for businesses that have shut down but haven't had time to hire back their employees."
Ernst also said, "we need essential worker tax relief" and that there is a proposal a suspension of federal income and payroll taxes for essential workers during the pandemic.
Child care funding is also something that Ernst has put high on her list of priorities.
"A big push of mine even before COVID-19 was ensuring that we are closing up some deserts," Ernst said. "We're asking for is an additional 25 billion dollars to support in a phase 4 package through a child care and development block grant. We've secured 32 million in the state of Iowa so far, but that's just a small portion of what we'd like to see across the United States."
Ernst also said she is working with Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar to ensure that funds are going to domestic violence programs in the next bill.
Iowa Finance Director Debi Durham, said Iowa Finance is now accepting applications for the renter/homeowner assistance program. Information on the program can be found here.
In Friday's press conference, Reynolds was asked about her thoughts on the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and whose death has sparked outrage nationwide.
"My prayers and condolences go out to his family, this is truly heart-breaking and horrific to see an individual treated so unjustly," Reynolds said. "We must ensure that justice is served and that the right and appropriate actions are taken.
Many protests and riots have occurred nationwide since Floyd's death on Monday.
"As Americans we have the right to peacefully protest and we should, but riots and violence serve nobody and are not the answer," Reynolds said.
There are an additional 290 new COVID-19 positive cases and 20 new deaths were reported in Iowa from 10 a.m. on Thursday to 10 a.m. on Friday.
Iowa has had a total of 18,791 positive cases of COViD-19, 520 total deaths and 10,600 total individuals have recovered.
1 in 22 Iowans have tested for COVID-19 with 1 in 168 testing positive.
Gov. Reynolds announced that the press conferences will now take place on only Tuesday's and Thursday's at the state capitol.