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Saunders: HEROES Act Is Right for America

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By AFSCME Staff ·

The HEROES Act, a COVID pandemic response bill unveiled by the pro-worker leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives, is the right prescription for America, according to AFSCME President Lee Saunders.

The bill, released today, includes $875 billion in state and local aid ($500 billion for states and $375 billion for local governments), $90 billion in education assistance, and an increase in the federal Medicaid match – the so-called FMAP formula – by 7.8 percentage points to 14%. More details are available here.

“The only way to beat COVID and reopen the economy is to save vital public services and the public service workers who provide them – and this bill from the House of Representatives does exactly that,” Saunders said in a statement. “This legislation, instead of bailing out wealthy corporations, invests in the services and the people who make our communities strong: people who provide clean water, safe roads, strong schools, fully staffed hospitals and much more.”

AFSCME members – many of them on the front lines of fighting the pandemic – have been leading a national campaign to urge Congress to help state and local governments recover from the economic devastation caused by COVID-19, which is forcing cuts to public services at a time when the nation’s communities need them urgently.

AFSCME members have also pushed for federal education and health care assistance, and are urging President Donald Trump and Congress to ramp up the production of personal protective equipment.

AFSCME’s campaign took on an added urgency as federal data showed that a record 20.5 million people – including an unprecedented 980,000 state and local workers – lost their jobs in April.

AFSCME members are taking action to push Congress to help cash-strapped state and local governments so they can continue to provide the public services Americans need at this pivotal moment.

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