HEROES Act and Moving Forward Act are needed now | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

HEROES Act and Moving Forward Act are needed now

The U.S. House has taken the lead on several bills that would provide immediate and long-term aid and jobs for people and communities hit hard by the pandemic and economic downturn. But unless Sen. Mitch McConnell allows the Senate to act soon, Kentucky communities will face devastating budget cuts to schools, health care, human services, infrastructure, public safety, unemployment insurance and more.

Specifically, the House has taken the initiative to pass:

  • the HEROES Act 
  • the Moving Forward Act or infrastructure bill (H.R. 2)


The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act is a response specifically to the pandemic. It includes provisions to help Kentucky avoid additional layoffs and devastating cuts to services. Specifically, it would: 

Allocate $7.1 billion to the government of Kentucky and $4.4 billion to local governments over the span of two years, in order to save thousands of jobs and help maintain the uninterrupted delivery of public services like health care, first responders, and safe drinking water. 

Increase Kentucky’s Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) and provide an additional $1.7 billion in Medicaid dollars to Kentucky over an 18-month period. 

Provide $1.3 billion for education in Kentucky, including $857 million for public K-12 schools and $395 million to public colleges and universities, which would save 12,000 jobs supporting K-12 education and 2,100 supporting higher education. This funding would help strengthen distance learning and teaching strategies to keep students and teachers healthy.

The HEROES Act passed the U.S. House on May 15, mostly along party lines. Kentucky Rep. John Yarmuth voted for the measure while Reps. James Comer, Brett Guthrie, Thomas Massie, Hal Rogers and Andy Barr opposed the relief legislation.

McConnell, who has kept the Senate from passing its own version of an additional pandemic relief bill or considering the House bill, called the HEROES Act a “wish list.”

“As the recession stretches into the second half of 2020, it is becoming increasingly clear that states and localities are at the forefront of combating the pandemic and its economic fallout,” said information from the Center for Economic Policy. “From keeping students enrolled in remote learning programs to equipping community health centers with the protective gear needed to safely treat COVID-19 patients, state and local involvement can be seen and felt everywhere.

Learn more about the HEROES Act at: kypolicy.org/whats-in-the-heroes-act-for-kentucky

The Moving Forward Act

The Moving Forward Act (officially titled the Invest in America Act), is a more than $1.5 trillion plan to rebuild U.S. infrastructure – roads, bridges, transit systems, schools, housing, broadband and much more. 

The approach taken by the U.S. House also supports the goals of getting the country on a path toward zero carbon emissions, making communities and roads safer, and addressing long-standing disparities. Supporters say it’s “about investing in infrastructure that is smarter, safer and made to last.”

Important to Kentuckians, H.R. 2 includes the RECLAIM Act and re-authorization of the Abandoned Mine Lands Program (see story here).

McConnell has called H.R. 2 “absurd.”

Resource: Why federal relief is needed to help Kentucky and the nation