Sinema urges Senate leaders to increase testing and infection-tracking, boost PPE, and provide critical relief for employers and direct budget support to local governments and Tribal communities
WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema today outlined Arizona priorities she is working to include in the next federal coronavirus relief package—including increased testing and infection-tracking, more personal protective equipment, critical relief for employers, and direct budget support for city and county governments and Tribal communities.
“Our public health and the health of our economy are inseparable; economic security for hardworking Arizonans can only be achieved with comprehensive and effective management of the pandemic,” Sinema wrote in a letter to Senate leaders in both parties.
Sinema specified six key Arizona priorities that she has heard in her regular calls with Arizona’s health care providers, small business owners, local elected leaders, veterans organizations, and non-profits:
- Expanding Health Care Capacity to Fight COVID-19—including increases in coronavirus testing, lab capacity, and point-of-care tests; a boost to personal protective equipment (PPE) availability; and resources for statewide infection-tracking
- Protecting Jobs and Supporting Employers—including Sinema’s bipartisan legislation fully forgiving all Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans less than $150,000; her bipartisan legislation providing independent Arizona restaurateurs with funding to rehire workers and deal with the long-term ramifications of COVID-19; and her bipartisan legislation establishing a workplace safety tax credit to help Arizona businesses and nonprofits implement coronavirus infection prevention measures to keep Arizona workers and customers safe
- Strengthening State, Local and Tribal Responses to COVID-19—including the bipartisan SMART Act to provide $500 billion in coronavirus relief to state, local, and Tribal governments, ensuring Arizona communities have the flexibility to use funding for budget support; ensuring that states spend federal testing and infection-tracking resources in a timely and locally responsive way, and follow re-opening guidelines issued by the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); and providing support to special districts, self-governing subdivisions of states that provide essential public services such as health care, fire protection, and water sanitation
- Ensuring Veterans Receive the Care and Benefits They Have Earned—including Sinema’s bipartisan legislation providing relief and resources to the VA’s Homeless Program Office, expanding its authorities to provide food, transportation, and communications technologies to homeless veterans; and her bipartisan legislation ensuring family members of veterans who passed away due to the coronavirus receive the dependent benefits they’ve earned
- Boosting Economic Relief for Families in Need—including Sinema’s bipartisan legislation creating an $800 million fund to increase resources and housing for Arizona children and families experiencing homelessness; her bipartisan legislation supporting affordable housing and increasing cleaning, disinfecting, and PPE for Arizona seniors; legislation Sinema is cosponsoring increasing funding for NeighborWorks America, a supportive housing counseling program that helps Arizona homeowners, renters, families experiencing homelessness, and families at risk of homelessness navigate their housing options
- Supporting Safe and Smart Learning—including additional funding for the Elementary and Secondary Education Relief Fund; funding to support the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) Programs; and legislation ensuring federal support for Tribal schools and libraries to provide Wi-Fi hotspots, modems, routers, and internet-enabled devices to students and staff
Click HERE to read Sinema’s full letter to Senate leaders.