Written for the Press-Republican on August 4, 2020

Stefanik cosponsors Back to Work Child Care Grants Act

WASHINTON, D.C. — On July 27, North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) announced that she was cosponsoring theBack to Work Child Care Grants Act of 2020.

According to a press release, the legislation would “ensure child-care providers across the country receive critical federal support in order to serve hardworking families.”

That includes provision of nine months of financial assistance for providers to open safely.

“The COVID-19 crisis continues to disrupt our economy and daily life, and our child-care providers have been adversely affected,” Stefanik said in a statement.

“Not only will this bipartisan legislation provide much-needed resources to our child-care providers, it will ensure our children are receiving the necessary care and education they need.”

Gillibrand supports funding for students with disabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C. — OnWednesday, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) announced that she was cosponsoring theSupporting Children with Disabilities During COVID-19 Act, and is calling for the bill to be included in the next COVID-19 relief package.

The legislation would appropriate $11 billion for state grants under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), $1.2 billion for early childhood education programs and $55 million under the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, according to a press release.

It would additionally require recipients of funds to report to Congress how the money is spent. Gillibrand and her Senate colleagues are calling for the legislation to be included in the next COVID-19 relief package.

“The coronavirus outbreak has exacerbated inequalities that students with disabilities face in our country, and made continuing quality education for these students even more difficult as schools have transitioned to remote learning,” Gillibrand said in a statement.

“We must ensure that support is delivered to those in need so that quality education is accessible for all.”

Stefanik votes for Sami’s Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) voted in favor of Sami’s Law, which would require safety measures for easier ride-sharing vehicle identification by riders.

The bill was named in remembrance of Samantha Josephson, a 21-year-old University of South Carolina student who was killed after she got into a car she thought was her Uber ride.

It would require ride-sharing companies to implement driver verificationsystems for passengers to use prior to beginning the trip, and establish a process for the U.S. Department of Transportation to issue standards for technology-based matching systems.

Stefanik cosponsored the legislation, which passed the House Wednesday afternoon.

“The death of Samantha Josephson was a heartbreaking tragedy that should never happen again,” Stefanik said in a statement.

“This important legislation will raise and promote safety best practices for passengers and require the implementation of technologies to ensure ride-share vehicles and drivers are as transparent with their passengers as possible.”

Gillibrand supports direct relief for small farmers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) co-signed a letter sent to Senate leadership calling for inclusion of theRelief for America’s Small Farmers Act in the next COVID-19 response package.

The legislationwould provide economic relief for small farmers suffering from massive financial losses due to reduced demand and supply chain disruptions during the pandemic, according to a press release.

The bill would make all small farms with an average adjusted gross income of up to $300,000 for the previous five years eligible for a one-time debt forgiveness of up to $250,000 across three types of U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency loans: direct farm operating, direct farm ownership and emergency loans. 

“The CARES Act does not go far enough to sustain small farms through this difficult time; they need urgent and direct loan forgiveness so they can continue maintaining operations, paying their workers and keeping food on Americans’ tables,” Gillibrand said in a statement.

“This legislation will not only strengthen family farms but also bolster rural economies that have been devastated by this crisis.”

Stefanik cosponsors vet hearing health services bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Thursday, North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) announced that she was cosponsoring a bill that would direct the U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs to appoint at least one licensedhearing aid specialist at each VA medical center and prescribe the technical qualifications for the licensed hearing aid specialists, according to a press release.

“Our veterans deserve the best possible health care and other important services, such as hearing specialists,” Stefanik said in a statement.

“I have spoken to many veterans and families in my district who will greatly benefit from this legislation. This is particularly an issue in many of our rural communities.”

Stefanik cosponsors Local Journalism Sustainability Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, North Country Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-Schuylerville) announced that she was cosponsoring theLocal Journalism Sustainability Act.

The legislation proposes a series of tax credits aimed at bolstering local newspapers and media in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release.

“Our local news outlets are so important to the North Country, especially in our more rural or isolated areas,” Stefanik said in a statement.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our news outlets, newspapers, and TV and radio stations have gone above and beyond to deliver up-to-date information to our North Country residents in a timely fashion.

“I am proud to be cosponsoring this bill to support readers, advertisers and publishers, and keep local news media sustained.”

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