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Larson Votes for Heroes Act to Provide Needed COVID-19 Relief

May 15, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) voted for the Heroes Act which provides an additional relief to Americans to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Americans are dying from this pandemic and are struggling financially. They want action from their leaders. Today, the House took action. Majority Leader McConnell has questioned whether additional relief-packages were needed. He’s wrong. My office has heard from thousands of constituents, from doctors, nurses, and other health care workers, to small business owners. People need help now!

“The bill that we passed in the House today, the Heroes Act, offers that help. It includes another round of economic impact payments to help people weather this crisis. It creates hazard pay for essential workers who have been battling this virus on the frontlines. It provides concrete help to the State of Connecticut and the 27 towns in the First District who have borne the brunt of the pandemic response to help them stabilize their finances, to pay our first responders, and provide essential services. It also directs the CDC to create a national-science-based plan to address the pandemic, working with the state and local governments for testing, contact tracing and other mitigation activities. This is something I have been calling for and is key to moving forward.

“Additionally, the Heroes Act includes two provisions that I fought for after hearing from Connecticut residents. The bill repeals the cap on state and local tax deductions for two years, putting money back into the pockets of Connecticut residents during these difficult times.  And it helps our volunteer first responders, who are at the frontlines of the pandemic in each and every community in Connecticut, are not taxed on the small tokens of gratitude they receive from their communities. It does this by making my bill, the Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Act (VRIPA) permanent.”

 

What This Would Mean for Connecticut:

  • Provides much needed fiscal assistance for our state and local governments that have forgone critical revenues due to COVID-19 health crisis and threaten employment of our first responders, health workers, teachers, and other public workers serving on the front lines of this pandemic.
  • The State of Connecticut is estimated to receive over $7 billion dollars to stabilize state finances to make up for lost revenues.
  • Connecticut municipalities are estimated to receive over $4 billion dollars to stabilize their finances.
  • A second and enhanced round of economic stimulus payments of $1,200 per person.
  • Extends federal Unemployment Insurance programs for workers, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for self-employed individuals, through January 2021.
  • Over $800 million in education funding for K-12 and public universities to continue delivering instruction, provide technological assistance for students, and support remote instruction professional development.
  • Over $48 million in funding to further secure our elections and support vote by mail and early voting.
  • Funding for the measures needed to safely reopen the economy: testing, tracing, and other activities to effectively monitor and suppress COVID-19.
  • Grants for hospital and health care providers to reimburse health care related expenses or lost revenue directly attributable to COVID-19.
  • Much needed resources Community Health Centers to expand their capacity to provide testing, triage, and care for COVID-19 and other health care services.
  • Increased reporting requirements and funding for nursing facility COVID-19 strike teams.
  • Institutes a nationwide ban on all evictions and foreclosures for 12 months.
  • Prohibits home energy, water, and internet shutoffs during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Provides $10 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program for small businesses.
  • Strengthens the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to ensure the relief reaches underserved communities and all non-profits and extends the covered period until December 31, 2020.
  • Enhances the new employee retention tax credit that encourages employers to keep their employees by increasing qualified wage reimbursement to 80% as well as increasing qualified wage limit per employee and includes group health plan expenses as qualified wages. 
  • Allows the state and local governments to claim the employee retention tax credit for their employees while their operations are fully or partially shut down during pandemic.

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