Senator Joni Ernst. (file photo)

Senator Joni Ernst is not yet sure a fourth federal stimulus package will be needed, but if one is developed, Ernst says it should include more help for the health care system.

“Making sure that we are investing properly in vaccinations,” Ernst says, “and making sure that we are also developing plans for other future possibilities of other pandemics.” I

t’s important to thoroughly evaluate how the first three federal stimulus packages are working before developing a fourth, according to Ernst.

“You’ve heard talk from some other states, though. They would like to see additional local government assistance as well as state assistance,” Ernst says. “And that, to me, is something we will debate, we will see — as long as it is COVID-19 related.”

The bill President Trump signed Friday established a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund for states, local governments and tribal nations. It also sets aside $117 billion for U.S. hospitals and the Veterans Administration health care system, plus another $11 billion for vaccines and other medical needs.

Governor Reynolds will meet with her agency directors early this week to review the entire $2 trillion stimulus package and come up with a list of potential gaps or shortfalls in the next plan.

“But I don’t know if I want to speculate at this point until we have an opportunity to go through that,” Reynolds says.

Missouri’s governor has warned tough cuts will have to be made in his state’s budget due to the fall-out over the pandemic. Governors of other states where there are COVID-19 hot spots have said their states need more federal support.