March 11, 2021

President Biden’s American Rescue Plan brings help to Illinois

On March 11, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act into law. This COVID-19 relief legislation provides significant new resources to fight the pandemic, help working people and families, aid states and local government and jump start the economy.

“This measure is a remarkable achievement that will shore up our middle class and help the most vulnerable in our communities while ensuring our state and local governments can meet the needs of their residents,” Council 31 Executive Director Roberta Lynch said. “We can be proud of the part AFSCME played in securing these sorely needed investments. As usual, our union never quit until the job was done.”

Throughout the past year, AFSCME members generated calls and letters to Congress and the White House urging the nation’s leadership to “Fund the Front Lines.” When the previous administration and Senate majority tried to walk away from their responsibility to the American middle class, AFSCME organized and mobilized, helping elect President Biden and end Mitch McConnell’s barricade of the legislation in the Senate.

“This is a historic victory for public service workers and working families across the country,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders. “Among many other things, this landmark legislation will deliver families a vital economic lifeline in the form of $1,400 checks, protect health care coverage for those who have lost their jobs and invest in the public services we need to finally crush this virus.”

Help is here

The following summary describes some of the key parts of the law of importance to AFSCME members.

For hard-hit workers and families:

To avoid drastic budget cuts at every level of government:

In the battle against COVID-19, emergency aid is increased:

To strengthen our education and human service infrastructure:

Physical, social and technological infrastructure:

Disaster relief:

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