COVID-19 RESPONSE

For the last 3 months we have been hosting free COVID-19 testing every Monday morning, from 8:30AM to 11:00AM, in the parking lot of the Victor Roberts Building (1408 N. Kingshighway Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63113). No symptoms, appointment, or doctor’s referral are necessary for a free test. The 63113 zip code has been particularly devastated by the virus, and we encourage everyone to join us for a test.

Check on the Status of your Economic Impact Payment [Click Here]

The link to the application above will give you information about: your payment status, your payment type, whether the IRS needs more information from you to process your check.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Are There Any Resources to Help Someone Who Usually Doesn’t File a Tax Return to Ensure They Receive What Amount They Are Eligible For?

Yes. First, the group of non-filers tends to be people who are low-income adults who are not elderly or disabled, as well as SSI and VA recipients.

Second, the IRS has just released a new web tool to help these people file. It is a quick, easy, no-cost process. People who want to use this tool to help others or themselves should visit this webpage (“Non-Filers: Enter Your Payment Info Here”) to learn more about what information is needed to file.

Note that this is currently the only way to help non-filers file and because of that, internet access is required–community, nonprofit, and other organizational leaders who work with these individuals should be aware of that.

What If Someone Usually Gets Their Tax Refunds by Mail? Is There Any Way to Help Them Get Their Check Faster?

Yes. The IRS is setting up a web portal that will allow people who do not currently file taxes to use direct deposit to provide the IRS with their direct deposit information. Here is a link to where that web portal will appear once ready (“Filers: Get Your Payment”) and note the IRS says it will go live “mid-April.” It will take much longer for the IRS to send out paper checks. Note that the web portal is currently the only way to provide the IRS with direct deposit information.

HELP FOR SMALL BUSINESS AND NON- PROFITS

The  U.S.  Small Business Administration approved Missouri’s request for assistance through the federal agency’s disaster loan program. This move makes low-interest disaster loans available to small businesses and private non-profits severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for each affected small business or non-profit. These loans can provide vitaleconomic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

Applicants will be able to apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.

State Rep Steve Roberts St. Louis Missouri
Rep Steven Roberts in his office at the state capitol.

On Wednesday, April 8th, I returned to the State Capitol, along with my colleagues, to pass a supplemental budget to enable the use of federal stimulus money to combat the economic impact COVID-19 has caused to our state. Some of the major provisions will provide:

$90 million in compensation for nursing homes while under an emergency declaration and to help with confirmed COVID-19 patients.

$66 million in childcare assistance.

$24 million for emergency food assistance and delivery programs.

$18 million for a utility assistance program for low-income households.

$11 million in funding for the Missouri National Guard as the governor has mobilized it to help deal with the pandemic.

It also covers $1 billion in aid to cities and counties and nearly $2 billion in K-12 expenses.

“The package includes $5.6 billion in federal funding and more than $246 million from the general revenue. In comparison, the mid-March version only allocated $33 million in federal funds and $7 million in state money.” (Missouri Times)

Four weeks ago, I was one of the Democratic Representatives who pushed strongly for increased funding at that time, but it was voted down along a party-line vote. I am thankful the early reluctance on the part of some to take this seriously enough has been overcome.

We all wore surgical masks and remained in our offices until called. Four members at a time were allowed onto the floor of the House to speak and cast our votes. Like life for most Missourians, it was surreal.

We will see better days, but we must also make sure we work to create the future we want and need. If you have any questions about unemployment benefits, small business loans, or other concerns please feel free to reach out to me. My top priority is to keep you and your family safe.

Yours in service,

Steve Roberts
State Representative
Democrat for State Senate

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

MLBC Letter STAY AT HOME

Roberts Details

Governor Responds

It was good to see the Governor finally responded to the calls of healthcare professionals and Missouri’s citizens who had been imploring him to issue a Stay-At-Home Order. As State Representative of the 77th District and Chairman of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus, I personally called on the Governor to act immediately this past week. I previously posted a copy of that letter here on Facebook. While this is a much needed step, there are other critical issues to resolve.

Minority communities have been hit the hardest by this pandemic, both in number of cases and with lack of resources in terms of testing. Yet, we are experiencing some of the most serious cases and highest fatalities. These citizens are also feeling the worst effects of layoffs. The so-called stimulus funds are taking too long to get to those who need the money most desperately. With the length of time these economic conditions could persist, the amount of Federal assistance is inadequate to meet the need. The State and Federal Government must coordinate more closely with St. Louis, to get us the resources we need to weather this storm.

What the Governor’s Stay-At-Home Order means for us can be found here:

https://governor.mo.gov/…/governor-parson-issues-statewide-…

I urge everyone to obey these rules as we all work together to flatten the curve of cases in Missouri. This is the most critical challenge many have faced in their lifetime. We can take solace in knowing we are not in this alone and that so many are putting themselves in harm’s way to help others. We cannot thank our nurses, doctors, EMTs, police, firefighters, grocery store clerks, delivery people, sanitation workers, and many others enough.

I will continue to work to keep you informed and urge you once again to be safe.
Sincerely,

 

Steve Roberts
State Representative
Candidate for State Senate

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