Written by North Country Now on March 14, 2020
North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, voted today to pass the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a legislative package to combat coronavirus and support families and seniors throughout this crisis.
The package included legislation that Congresswoman Stefanik cosponsored, the COVID-19 Child Nutrition Response Act.
This legislative package:
• Eliminates cost barriers by providing free COVID-19 testing.
• Provides paid leave for working Americans who are ill, quarantined, or caring for others due to coronavirus through a tax credit to employers.
• Protects student access to meals during school closures related to COVID-19 by allowing school officials and child care centers to distribute food in alternate settings.
• Bolsters state Unemployment Compensation (UC) systems and directs states to make UC payments more accessible for individuals whose employment has been disrupted by the coronavirus.
• Expands access to food assistance programs and provides $250 million in additional funding for key Older Americans Act nutrition programs, including Home-Delivered and Congregate meals for seniors.
• Temporarily increases the federal share of Medicaid payments (FMAP) by 6.2%, reducing the percentage that must be paid by New York counties, which will free up local resources to respond to this crisis. Importantly, states will be prevented from increasing the percentage of Medicaid payments that counties must pay while the temporary FMAP increase is in place.
“I voted in favor of this bipartisan legislative package to support North Country families during this public health emergency as we face and beat COVID-19. My number one priority in Congress is to deliver results to my constituents in New York’s 21st District, and my office successfully advocated for significant federal support to ensure free testing, resources for North Country seniors and the most vulnerable, and relief for small businesses and hardworking families,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “In particular, I am grateful that legislation I cosponsored to maintain student access to school meals during closures was included in the final package. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress on legislation to combat this pandemic and to provide my constituents with up-to-date information. I want to thank our local and state public health departments, hospitals, and officials for their excellent work and diligence. Constituents should not hesitate to reach out to my offices with any questions and should continue to follow CDC guidance to keep themselves protected.”
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