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Ohio leaders hold news conference pressing Sen. Rob Portman for passage of HEROES Act

Cleveland City Councilman Blaine Griffin was among those participating.
Credit: AP, Alex Brandon

CLEVELAND — On Thursday, city executives and councilmembers - including those from the four largest cities in Ohio - held a briefing to demand that U.S. Senator Rob Portman fight for the passage of the HEROES Act.

Cleveland City Councilman Blaine Griffin was among those participating. 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Democrats are looking to pass the HEROES Act or a similarly-robust package in Congress to ease the devastation of coronavirus and the recession on state and local government and on everyday Ohioans. 

The group will announce the release of a letter joined by 20+ elected Democratic colleagues outlining key priorities for Ohio cities, towns, schools, and working families. Some of those priorities include: 

  • State and local grants to help cities avoid shuttering critical public services, without which economists predict that almost another 200,000 jobs will be lost; 
  • An increase to the federal Medicaid match, to pay for the estimated 600,000+ Ohioans who will qualify and need it in the next year as they are laid off; 
  • Additional funding for Title I and IDEA to help schools, save the jobs of teachers and other school workers, and enable a safe reopening; 
  • Investments in our supply of childcare slots, as 6,500+ providers in Ohio have closed their doors; 
  • Extension and expansion of pandemic-related paid family leave, 
  • The continuation of the Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program that is keeping hundreds of thousands of Ohioans from falling into financial ruin, lapses in two weeks, and which Sen. Portman has suggested he does not support. 

A spokesperson for Senator Portman sent 3News the following statement in response to Thursday's press conference.

“The so-called HEROES Act passed by House Democrats actually raises taxes on small businesses while giving tax breaks to millionaires. It’s an outrageous proposal at any time, much less during a pandemic. Rob has consistently called for more action to support our economy, our health care efforts, our schools and state and local governments, and he will continue to work in a bipartisan way to accomplish those goals.”

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