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Shimizu: Stimulus payments can possibly be made by February

By Jacob Nakamura

Senators this afternoon suspended debate on a bill to give qualified single filers a one-time payment of $400, and joint filers, $800.

They will resume discussion Monday morning in session, after director of revenue and taxation Dafne Shimizu has time to consider amendments senators made to Bill No. 340 today. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee.

Ms. Shimizu and the administration's budget director, Lester Carlson, and cash director, Ed Birn, answered questions senators had about the process of paying the stimulus checks, and whether the government had the budget and cash to make the payments.

In a nutshell, both Carlson and Birn told senators the stimulus program is realistic and can be funded.

"The governor fully supports this bill," Mr. Carlson told senators this morning.

Ms. Shimizu said her agency will be able to make the payments by February, if the bill passes into law this month.

Ms. Lee's bill, as substituted and amended, will provide $400 stimulus payments to residents who were private sector workers in tax year 2019 and who made less than $40,000 in gross income. For joint filers, they must have been private sector workers in 2019 and made less than $80,000 together in gross income.

Senators Sabina Perez and Jim Moylan said they support the bill. Sen. Therese Terlaje said she believes people should be given financial relief through the Coronavirus recession.

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