Matt Sutton 212-613-8026
Washington, D.C. – With the House expected to vote on CARES 2 (“The Heroes Act”) today, Maritza Perez, Director of the Office of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance, released the following statement urging Congress members to support it:
“We are pleased that today the House is considering CARES 2 (“The Heroes Act”). This measure will specifically provide life-saving relief for people at increased risk of contracting COVID-19, including justice-involved individuals and people who use drugs.
Many of DPA’s legislative priorities are included in CARES 2. The bill includes the Emergency Community Supervision Act (H.R. 6400), which prioritizes releasing certain incarcerated individuals from federal custody into community supervision, including young people, medically vulnerable individuals, people over 50 years of age, and individuals within 12 months of release. The bill also includes the COVID-19 Correctional Facility Emergency Response Act of 2020 (H.R. 6414), which incentivizes states and localities to reduce their jail and prison populations, in addition to providing critical reentry funding. CARES 2 includes language that gives states flexibility to reinstate Medicaid coverage up to 30 days prior to the release of an incarcerated individual, which is pivotal to aiding smooth transition to MAT and other community-based providers. It also authorizes $10 million in discretionary grants intended to support harm reduction providers during the pandemic.
We urge the House to vote favorably for CARES 2 today and for the Senate to swiftly take up and pass this essential measure.”