More than two months after House Democrats released their $3 trillion stimulus bill, called the HEROES Act, Senate Republicans introduced the $1 trillion HEALS Act on Monday, a third coronavirus relief package to support Americans during the pandemic.
The HEALS Act does not include additional funds for state and local governments, which many governors have sought as the pandemic forced major cuts to local, city and state budgets. It proposes cutting federal unemployment benefits by $400 a week for the 30 million Americans currently receiving benefits, and no eviction relief for the 40% of Americans at risk of losing their home.
The two parties must come together in the following weeks to either compromise on the HEROES or HEALS Act or build a third coronavirus relief package collaboratively from scratch. As negotiations progress, we are hopeful that a relief package will pass Congress before the August recess. In the meantime, here are some key highlights between the two proposals along with updates in state supports.
- $105 billion to the Department of Education to help get all students back to school.
- $70 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. Two-thirds of this funding directed at schools with a physical reopening plan.
- $29 billion for the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
- 100.15 billion to the Department of Education.
- $10.15 billion for colleges.
- To better prepare educators for remote learning in the 2020-21 school year, OSPI announced yesterday that it will be providing educators with free support and training on the use of learning management systems.
- $2.2 billion to Tenant-Based Rental Assistance.
- $1 billion for Public Housing Operating Fund.
- No federal eviction moratorium extension, which expired last week.
- $4 billion for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance.
- $2 billion for Public Housing Operating Fund.
- $5 billion for Community Development Block Grant.
- $100 billion for Emergency Rental Assistance.
- $11.5 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants.
- Federal eviction moratorium extended for one year.
- The eviction moratorium in Washington state is extended through October 15.
- Rental and mortgage assistance is available to eligible Pierce County residents.
- Five-year liability shield preventing businesses and institutions from being sued over coronavirus-related damages.
- No hazard pay for essential workers.
- $200 billion Heroes’ Fund to provide $13/hour hazard pay premium on top of workers’ regular pay.
- High-risk employee proclamation, first issued in April, is extended through the duration of the state of emergency. The proclamation prohibits employers from failing to accommodate workers who are vulnerable to the virus.