Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. Supports The Heroes Act, Releases Details on Benefits for State and Local Communities

May 13, 2020
Press Release

Media Contact:  Patrick Wright   --

Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) announced support for The Heroes Act, the latest legislation to address the continued coronavirus public health crisis.  The bill would provide support for struggling families and essential workers with funds for testing and tracing measures, key support for frontline workers, and more direct payments to the American people. 

“Our communities, workers and families urgently need more relief to weather the coronavirus crisis,” said Rep. Payne, Jr.  “Many of our frontline heroes are even at risk of losing their jobs as they risk their lives to care for us.  We must come together to pass the Heroes Act to protect New Jersey families and ensure all our frontline heroes have the support they need to continue to save lives and keep our communities safe and healthy.” 

The Heroes Act provides New Jersey’s government and local communities funds to cover coronavirus-related expenses and pay state and local health care workers, police and fire departments, emergency services workers, teachers and other essential workers who could be in danger of losing their jobs.   

The Congressional Research Service estimates that the Heroes Act will provide New Jersey approximately $16.6 billion in state funding over a two-year period, which includes money for local communities in the Tenth District such as:

  • Newark – $525 million
  • Essex County – $449 million
  • Maplewood – $12.4 million

Also, The Heroes Act includes $90 billion to support state and local public education, including approximately $2 billion for New Jersey schools.  This funding will help maintain or restore financial support for elementary, secondary and public higher education.  It can be used to meet a wide range of urgent needs, including summer learning, afterschool programs, distance learning, and emergency financial aid for college students as well as coordination with public health departments to mitigate the spread of disease.

In addition, the Heroes Act provides transformative, far-reaching support to protect the lives and livelihoods of the American people and the life of our democracy.  It would:

  • Provide strong support for our heroes by establishing a $200 billion Heroes’ fund to ensure that essential workers across the country receive hazard pay.  
  • Commit another $75 billion for the testing, tracing and treatment we need in order to have a science-based path to safely reopen our country and helping ensure that every American can access free coronavirus treatment.
  • Put money in the pockets of workers with a second round of direct payments to families up to $6,000 per household, new payroll protection measures to keep 60 million workers connected with their jobs and extending weekly $600 federal unemployment payments through next January.
  • Support small businesses by strengthening the Payroll Protection Program to ensure that it reaches underserved communities, nonprofits of all sizes and types and responds flexibly to small businesses by providing $10 billion for COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
  • Ensure further security for New Jersey residents and all Americans in several areas, including:
    • Health – with COBRA subsidies and a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges for those without insurance.
    • Employment – with new requirements for OSHA to ensure that all workplaces develop science-based infection control plans and preventing employers from retaliating against workers who report problems.
    • Home – with $175 billion in new supports to assist renters and homeowners make monthly rent, mortgage and utility payments and other housing-related costs.
    • Food – with a 15 percent increase to the maximum SNAP benefit and additional funding for nutrition programs that help families put food on the table.  
  • Protects the life of our Democracy with new resources to ensure safe elections, an accurate Census, and preserve the Postal Service. 

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