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Heinrich Introduces Coronavirus Community Relief Act To Provide Federal Assistance For Localities Under 500,000s

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced the Coronavirus Community Relief Act. This legislation would provide $250 billion in stabilization funds geared towards localities with populations under 500,000 that are struggling in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Communities across the United States, such as smaller counties, cities, and towns, are currently dealing with COVID-19-related costs that include deploying emergency operations, public service announcements, and telework services. Each of these communities need direct stabilization funds to address the pandemic and recover economically when this public health emergency has passed.

“Small and rural communities across the nation either will face, or have already faced, enormous economic burdens and costs in an effort to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is crucial that we provide the same direct emergency assurances to smaller towns, counties, and cities and grant them the same stability that we are providing our larger metropolitan areas,” said Heinrich. “I am proud to lead this effort in the Senate to expand upon the Coronavirus Relief Fund that we secured in the CARES Act and open up this critical funding so that no community is left behind, especially in New Mexico.”

The Coronavirus Community Relief Act would ensure that all communities receive the direct relief they need to continue the COVID-19 pandemic fight and allow additional flexibility on how state and local governments could use funds to mitigate the economic crisis caused by COVID-19.

Under the Coronavirus Community Relief Act, the funds disbursed to state and local governments with a population under 500,000 could be used for costs including but not limited to lost revenue, reimbursement for expenses already incurred, and increases in costs reasonably believed to have been caused or as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Coronavirus Community Relief Act, previously announced by Senator Heinrich, is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).

The legislation is the Senate companion to the Coronavirus Community Relief Act, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, by U.S. Representatives Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), Andy Levin (D-Mich.), Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) and 70 cosponsors.

A copy of the bill is available here.