NewDEAL Applauds Relief to States and Cities by U.S. House in HEROES Act
Latest Coronavirus Relief Legislation Addresses Key Concerns of NewDEAL Members
Washington, D.C. – Legislation approved today by the U.S. House takes a critical step to providing states, counties, and municipalities with the resources necessary to deal with the wide-ranging impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. The HEROES Act, which includes $500 billion for states and $375 billion for local governments, also addresses the most pressing issues raised in recommendations that NewDEAL sent to Congressional Leaders, which urged them to improve upon the previous federal relief provided by the CARES Act.
“The HEROES Act makes investments that are imperative for allowing state and local leaders to implement solutions that protect their communities amid this crisis,” said NewDEAL CEO Debbie Cox Bultan. “State and local officials across the country have stepped up with swift and effective actions to deal with the extraordinary health, economic, and other challenges caused by COVID-19; however, they face increasingly difficult obstacles to protecting their communities as tax revenues plunge and their budgets are shredded.
“In addition to appropriating desperately needed funding, the HEROES Act makes two vital changes to the CARES Act that NewDEAL Leaders have requested by: (1) ending the requirement that governments spend stimulus funds on new initiatives, which allows them to replace lost revenue, and (2) including funds for municipalities with fewer than 500,000 residents.”
Other provisions in the HEROES Act that, in part, address NewDEAL recommendations include:
increased funds for testing capacity;
a stronger safety net that includes hazard pay for essential workers;
election preparation through $3.6 billion for grants to States for contingency planning, preparation, and resilience;
support for small businesses with an additional $10 billion in grants to those that have suffered financial losses as a result of the coronavirus outbreak; and
relief for mass transit, with $15.75 billion for operating assistance grants to support transit agencies that require significant additional assistance to maintain basic services.
“We are grateful for the leadership of Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats in recognizing the scale of the continuing impacts of the coronavirus and the urgency with which our country’s leaders must respond,” said Bultan. “NewDEAL Leaders implore Senate Republicans to end their cautious approach to enacting the relief that would rescue our economy and, most importantly, save lives. State and local leaders, and the people they represent, need Congress to quickly send the HEROES Act, or a similar bill, to the President’s desk.”
NewDEAL (Developing Exceptional American Leaders), is a selective national network of state and local elected officials who are pro-growth progressives, with Honorary Co-Chairs U.S. Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and former Governor Jack Markell. Members of the nearly 200-person network covering 48 states have been chosen from among more than 1500 nominations over its nine-year history, and are working to enact pro-growth progressive solutions in a diverse array of communities. The network of rising leaders has included more than 20 who have ascended to higher office since the fall of 2018, such as four members of Congress and seven mayors who won their office for the first time in 2019.
The NewDEAL brings together leaders focused on expanding opportunity, helping them develop and spread innovative ideas to spur economic growth that is broadly-earned and sustainable. Learn more about the NewDEAL at http://www.newdealleaders.org/