August 10, 2020

COVID Relief Petition Delivery to Senators Lee and Romney

Advocates Presented Thousands of Petition Signatures to Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney Urging Them to Extend Federal COVID Relief

Monday, August 10 at 10:00 a.m. at the Federal Building in downtown SLC

Salt Lake City - On Monday, August 10 at 10:00 a.m. at the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building at 125 South State Street in Salt Lake City, Comunidades Unidas and Voices for Utah Children presented to Utah Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney petitions signed by thousands of Utahns urging them to support extending the federal COVID-19 relief measures originally passed in March at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Voices for Utah Children CEO Maurice “Moe” Hickey commented, “Back in March, both Senators supported the federal CARES Act that provided $600 per week in emergency unemployment compensation on top of state unemployment benefits, tax rebates of $1200/adult and $500/child, and other emergency relief measures to help prevent the coronavirus pandemic from causing a deep economic recession and widespread suffering among the tens of millions of Americans who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Now, five month later, the measures passed in March have begun to expire, but the pandemic and its economic impacts are still with us.”

Congress is currently considering extending the emergency relief measures, but the Senate has yet to reach agreement on the details. The petition signed by thousands of Utahns from all over the state read as follows:

Petition to Utah's Senators Mike Lee and Mitt Romney in support of the next round of federal COVID relief for Utah:

As Utah and the nation struggle to stay healthy and avoid a deep economic recession, we appreciate your support in the spring for emergency federal action, including the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Now that summer has arrived with the pandemic still going strong -- while the FFCRA and CARES Act provisions begin to expire -- we urge your support for the next round of emergency federal relief, including the following: 

1) Fiscal aid to the states so they can avoid harmful budget cuts

2) Extension of enhanced unemployment assistance (the additional $600/week) and tax rebate payments ($1200/adult, $500/child)

3) Strengthen Medicaid

4) Enhancements of the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit

5) Suspension of the "Public Charge" rule, which keeps Utah immigrant families from getting the healthcare and food assistance they need

Maria Montes from Comunidades Unidas commented, “Unfortunately, while all Utahns are trying to navigate the rough seas of this pandemic and recession, we’re not all in the same boat. Well over  100,000 Utahns live in households excluded from state and federal COVID relief because of their immigration status. These families have received no tax rebate stimulus checks and no unemployment insurance. Yet Utah’s Latino families have suffered disproportionately from both the virus and from the recession.”

The press conference was carried live on Facebook