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Sen. Kelly says COVID relief bill needs to happen before holiday

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CBS 13's April Hettinger sits down with the Senator to talk about the proposal

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Many Arizonans are wondering about the future of their health and finances.

The new vaccine is giving people hope, but relief aid is running out.

Democratic Senator Mark Kelly says a plan of action needs to happen before Christmas.

Sen. Kelly met with the rest of the U.S. Senate to propose another COVID relief bill, but time is ticking. He hopes they can have a plan before the holiday.

"Our country faces some very serious challenges that currently are not being addressed and need to be before the United States Senate decides to go home here for the holidays," Sen. Kelly explained.

Anyone who is unemployed in Arizona will stop receiving COVID relief on December 26.

And if they've been unemployed for longer than 26 weeks, they will not be getting any assistance.

There's even talk about another Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses like growers in Yuma.

"There's $13 billion set aside, you know, to help those businesses: ranching and farming businesses," Sen. Kelly said. "That's incredibly important for the Yuma area."

Unemployment rates are low and farming companies are short staffed. Senator Kelly talks about bridging that gap.

"They need employees, so a visa program that helps them have the workforce that they need to grow the crops," Sen. Kelly stated. "That is so important, not only for Arizona or for our country but for the planet."

But money isn't the only concern. With this being the second day of vaccine doses administered across the country. He encourages everyone to get the vaccine as soon as possible.

"We need 70-75% of individuals vaccinated before we can really start to drive down the infection rate," Sen. Kelly explained. "So, it's important that folks sign up."

Senator Kelly also met today with Governor Doug Ducey to talk about this bipartisan relief bill and prioritizing the vaccine.

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April Hettinger

April was born and raised in San Diego where she loved the beach town and her two dogs, Lexi and Malibu. She decided to trade the beach for the snow and advanced her education at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.


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