|COVID-19 Update | December 13, 2020
||View Email in Browser|
Reinstating Arkansas Law
Earlier this week, the Congressional Oversight Commission held its third public hearing with Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced a plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccines, to be implemented after the Food and Drug Administration authorizes an emergency COVID-19 vaccine.
In particular, the VA has collaborated with Operation Warp Speed and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to deliver a safe and effective vaccine for VA staff and veterans.
The VA determined that vaccines will go to front-line VA health care workers and veterans in long-term care units in 37 of its medical centers across the country. These centers were chosen specifically for their ability to vaccinate large groups of people and for their capability to store large amounts of vaccinations at a specific temperature.
Health care workers will be the first to receive the first batch of vaccines due to their heightened exposure to COVID-19 and their role as caretakers of veterans in these care units.
After further vaccine supplies arrive, additional veterans may receive vaccinations based on age, health, and other similar factors.
To read the full VA press release, visit HERE.For more information, veterans should visit the VA Coronavirus Vaccine FAQs webpage, contact their care team, or visit their facility website.
Providing Employment During the Pandemic
Amidst the health and economic crisis brought on by the pandemic, I am pleased to announce that the Arkansas Center for Data Sciences (ACDS) has launched a program for free technology training and apprenticeships. This program is a wonderful way to help Arkansans who are looking for work.
I am pleased to say that this program — co-sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services, Office of Skills Development and Professional, and Workforce Development at the University of Arkansas — has been supported by $750,000 from the CARES Act, which my colleagues and I passed in March.
Since the program’s launch on November 1, 2020, 252 candidates have applied, and about 140 are in the process of applying. Moreover, the ACDS urges more Arkansans to apply, with the hope of having 1,000 applicants by May. The program expects to fill about 300 jobs through ReSkill.
I commend the ACDS for seeking more employment opportunities for Arkansans struggling from the pandemic. Together, we will continue to fight against the virus and help restore our economy to its pre-pandemic state.
To learn more about the ReSkill program, visit the ACDS website HERE.
Inspiring Students in Arkansas
It was a pleasure recently to join President Bill Clinton, Governor Asa Hutchinson, Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin, and Congressman Rick Crawford to experience Arkansas history firsthand.
Last Thursday, students from Nettleton STEAM Intermediate School met with NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration - astronauts live aboard the International Space Station to discuss science in outer space.
I congratulate the students of Nettleton STEAM Intermediate School for this opportunity, and I commend them on the hard work they put into their projects this fall. The students’ water filtration systems, robotic arms, plant growth chambers, and space suits are an amazing achievement for primary education and an inspiration for all schools in Arkansas.
These students are exemplary young scientists: using the tools and technology of today to help solve the problems of tomorrow.
I thank Arkansas PBS for facilitating this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Arkansas students and viewers to learn more about outer space travel and life aboard the International Space Station.
If you plan to enroll in 2021 Marketplace health insurance or wish to change your existing coverage, now is the time to do so. There are 2 more days remaining until the deadline on December 15th, 2020, to make these changes. Plans purchased during this period will take effect on January 1, 2021.
The open enrollment period for Medicare ended on Monday, December 7, 2020. Any changes made during the open enrollment period to either enroll within Medicare or change a current plan will take effect on January 1, 2021.
For more information about your current plan’s costs, benefits, and rules for 2021, please visit HERE.
It is important to note that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be more changes than usual this year when enrolling within private and employer-based insurance plans.I am proud to have a dedicated team in Arkansas who can assist you with matters involving the federal government. If you have any questions about Social Security benefits, the Internal Revenue Service, or federal healthcare programs, please contact my office at (501) 324-5941 or visit Hill.House.Gov
Representative French Hill