A national economic shutdown instigated by the coronavirus continues to cripple the financial health of workers across the country, prompting Congress to entertain the passage of new financial stimulus legislation.

AFSCME recommends this legislation include state and locality support in at least the following ways: $700 billion in aid provided to state and local governments, the freeing up of CARES Act funding currently restricted for use in “unbudgeted” pandemic-related costs, an increase by at least 15 percentage points of the federal government’s share of Medicaid costs, the provision of no less than $200 billion to public schools to help them pivot to online instruction, and the provision of a grant to Puerto Rico of at least $750 million to cover the island territory’s Medicaid-eligible population.

“Protecting workers on the front lines slows the spread of the disease and helps maintain our capacity to meet surging demand for care,” according to a statement from AFSCME. “We have a solemn obligation to those who are putting themselves at risk and we must meet it.”

Read more about the vital additions that must be included in the new congressional stimulus bill and the impacts they will make here.