CSAC Joins with State and Local Partners to Urge Immediate Senate Action on COVID-19 Relief Bill
July 2, 2020
This week, CSAC joined with a broad coalition of organizations from across the country in writing to the leaders of the United States Senate to urge them to take immediate action on a fifth coronavirus relief package. The correspondence – which was spearheaded by NACo and the other members of the “Big Seven” public interest groups – requests direct federal fiscal support to aid state and local governments in efforts to rebuild the economy and maintain essential services in education, health care, emergency operations, public safety and more. All told, over 170 groups signed the letter to Senate leaders.The full text of the letter can be read here.
The unified appeal for additional federal assistance comes as the new fiscal year is set to begin for 45 states and thousands of local governments. As noted in the correspondence, furloughs and job cuts are on the table for many jurisdictions. In addition, many states and local governments may be forced to further delay or cancel important infrastructure projects, with 26 states already announcing construction delays for transportation projects.
Looking ahead, it appears that Senate Republican leaders remain open to bringing a fifth coronavirus response bill to the floor sometime in July. In the House, lawmakers approved along party lines the Democratic-sponsored HEROES Act (HR 6800) back on May 15. HR 6800 would provide direct financial support to all local governments, with the nationwide county allocation totaling $187.5 billion. Under the legislation, funding could be used to cover costs or replace foregone revenues stemming from the COVID-19 public health emergency or its negative economic impacts.
CSAC has and will continue to work closely with the California congressional delegation and our state and local government partners in an effort to ensure that a robust COVID-19 relief package is approved by Congress.