U.S. Congressman Steve Stivers | E-Newsletter
March 14, 2020 Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter | Permalink
U.S. Congressman Steve Stivers

Last night, I was proud to join both Republicans and Democrats in passing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This bill will give communities in Ohio’s 15th District, and across the country, the flexibility they need to combat the spread of coronavirus and help people recover from COVID-19, and ensure that the economic side effects of this situation do not harm vulnerable populations. 

This package includes: 

$1.2 billion for expanded access to testing 

As we have seen from our allies like South Korea, who has diagnosed over 6,000 cases but has a fatality rate of 0.6 percent, one of the best steps we can take to combat this is making sure there is adequate testing.   

This will allow more individuals to be tested if necessary, and insurers will cover the cost of the test as well as all related expenses, such as office visits. 

$1.1 billion for nutrition assistance for students, elderly individuals and families 

This bill makes sure that those most vulnerable have the resources they rely on.  That includes funding for meal delivery services for elderly and at-risk individuals who may be self-quarantining or social distancing, students who rely on free or reduced meals at their school, and families who rely on programs like SNAP, TEFAP, or WIC.  

Specifically, it includes:  

  • $160 million for home-delivered nutrition services 

  • $500 million for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) 

  • $400 million for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) 

  • Program waivers to allow USDA to waive statutory requirements for several food programs to ensure that meals can be provided during the emergency and to implement safety measures related to preventing the spread of COVID-19

Emergency Paid Leave

This bill requires businesses to provide as many as 12 weeks of job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for employees who have to comply with a quarantine directive because of exposure or symptoms, provide care for a family member impacted, or provide care for children whose schools are closed as a result of coronavirus.  

It also requires employers to grant up to two weeks of emergency sick leave for employees who are diagnosed or receive care for COVID-19.  It also prohibits employers from requiring the employee to find a replacement for their role or from discriminating against an employee who requests sick leave.  

Lastly, the package provides employer tax credits to cover wages paid to employees while they are taking time off under the bill’s sick leave and family leave programs. 

With the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, we can expect to see relief for Americans affected by coronavirus.  I hope to see this bill move quickly through the Senate, and onto the President’s desk.  It is absolutely crucial, now, more than ever, that we work together to ensure we deliver solutions to communities nationwide. 

In the meantime, everyone should continue to take precautionary measures to stay healthy and prevent the spread of illness.  That includes:  

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds,  

  • Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer throughout the day, 

  • Cover you cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, 

  • Stay at home when you are sick,  

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.  

For more information about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, please call my Hilliard office at (614) 771-4968.  

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