Money

The $500 Emergency Relief Check Program has exhausted its 70,000 available payments in just three days.

The $35 million in money from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund set aside by the Oregon Legislature for the program has been issued or reserved for residents who had appointments with the banks and credit unions taking part. No new applications will be accepted.

House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, said the intense demand showed the dire financial situation of Oregonians who have lost income during the COVID-19 crisis.

“We have to get more money to help people," Kotek said. "The federal government has the ability to make direct stimulus payments to Americans whose lives are in jeopardy and are not doing so. I find this incredibly frustrating and disappointing.”

Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, said lawmakers knew from the start that the money wouldn't be enough to cover all needs, but it was a start.

"We had to take action to get money directly to people as quickly as possible," he said.

Financial institutions who are participating will have a final funding allotment cap for the day. Previously scheduled appointments will continue through the end of the month.

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