Senator Collins Must Stand up to McConnell and Prioritize Needs of Mainers in Response to Coronavirus

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Portland, MAINE – Today, Maine officials announced the first presumptive case of coronavirus in the state. The 16 Counties Coalition is calling on Senator Susan Collins to stand up to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and prioritize the needs of vulnerable Mainers during this public health crisis. Senator Collins must lead by example, and support measures proposed in the House and Senate to expand paid sick leave and support working families. Maine has one of the oldest overall populations, and our workforce is predominantly made up of hourly workers, who typically have less access to workplace benefits and protections, including paid sick leave. 

Willy Ritchexecutive director of the 16 Counties Coalition, issued the following statement:

“During this crisis, Mainers need to know that Susan Collins is looking out for us. We need Senator Collins to stand up to Mitch McConnell and tell him that Mainers need paid sick leave and protections for working families. Instead of pushing more tax cuts for wealthy corporations that will only increase economic inequality, we need our representatives to work together to ensure the most vulnerable are taken care of.”

Yesterday, Senate Republicans blocked a Senate bill that would extend paid sick leave to all Americans. And earlier today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell referred to a wide-ranging House bill that would provide common-sense supports for working families, including food security assistance, paid sick leave, free coronavirus testing, and strengthened unemployment benefits, as an “ideological wish list” that was too controversial for the Senate to take up.

Instead of strengthening protections and support for workers and vulnerable populations, McConnell is pushing the ambiguous White House plan to further cut corporate taxes at the expense of direct assistance to American families. 


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