Congressman Neal, Mayor Tyer, and Berkshire delegation applaud American Rescue Plan Act

– On Friday, March 26, Congressman Richard E. Neal joined Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer, State Senator Adam Hinds, State Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, and local officials to celebrate the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act during a press conference at City Hall.

This legislation was signed into law on March 11, 2021 by President Biden and includes vital resources for Massachusetts families and communities to crush the virus, put vaccines in people’s arms, money in people’s pockets, children safely back in school and workers back in jobs.

“As Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, I am proud of the provisions we brought forward in the American Rescue Plan,” said Congressman Neal. “Our committee was responsible for $941 billion of the $1.9 trillion legislation. Because of our work, we were able to ensure that American families received additional stimulus funding, helping them better afford childcare and health coverage. We expanded critical refundable tax credits for low- and middle- income workers and families. We ensured that the millions of jobless Americans won’t lose their pandemic-related unemployment benefits and can afford life’s necessities until the economy rebounds. These provisions are crucial to workers and families across our nation, and I know that this life-saving, jobs-creating law will make a major difference to folks in Berkshire County.”

“This is a major win for the people of Pittsfield,” said Mayor Tyer. “I am truly grateful for President Biden and for our federal representatives, especially Chairman Neal, who made the American Rescue Plan Act a reality. Like so many cities and towns across the United States, Pittsfield has been deeply impacted by the pandemic. Our city, our businesses, and our citizens have, and continue to, experience tremendous financial hardships. Thanks to this legislation, these critical funds will ensure that our city has the spectrum of resources needed to prepare, equip, and strengthen us for the next chapter of recovery and revitalization.”

The American Rescue Plan includes targeted relief for Massachusetts, including:

  • $5.3 billion in state fiscal relief
  • $2.6 billion in local fiscal relief
    • $240 million to CD-1 including:
      • $41.6 million to Berkshire County
      • $33 million to Pittsfield
  • More than $1.897 billion in relief for K-12 schools in Massachusetts
    • Pittsfield Public School District will receive $14.4 million
  • Economic impact payments of up to $1,400 per person (above the $600 per person provided in December) for more than 3,925,800 adults and 1,331,400 children. This is 78% of all adults in the state and 73% of all children in the state. 
  • Additional relief of up to $1,600 per child through the Child Tax Credit to the families of 1,105,000 children, lifting 55,000 children out of poverty.
  • Additional relief of up to nearly $1,000 through the Earned Income Tax Credit to 294,000 childless workers, including many in frontline jobs.
  • Provides $7.6 billion in funding to support COVID-19 response at Community Health Centers – which has gone on to assist Community Health Programs Inc. in Great Barrington.

A one pager on the American Rescue Plan can be found HERE.

A full, comprehensive fact sheet can be found HERE.