Counties to Congress: Help Needed Here, On Front Lines

County governments, through NACo and dozens of state associations, have urged Congressional leaders to find robust and equitable help directly to counties in the next relief package.

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The National Association of Counties submitted a letter to the Speaker and Minority Leader, expressing the urgency of front line funding to county governments in any developing aid package. MACo joined over 40 state county associations in co-signing the letter.

From the NACo/MACo letter:

We strongly urge Congress to allocate resources directly to counties as most states mandate the implementation of public health and emergency response responsibilities to county governments. Given the reality of the unprecedented resources counties need for COVID-19 response, we respectfully ask you to modify your use of the traditional Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) formula in the Interim Emergency COVID-19 Relief Act.

Finally, as counties spend more and more responding to this public health crisis, we believe that more than $150 billion will be required to protect our residents and continue administering public services. Expanding the overall amount of relief to local governments to $250 billion, as proposed now in the House and Senate, would help to ease the disparity between counties and cities and provide counties with the resources we need to fight against COVID-19 into the summer and beyond.

Both House and Senate leaders have indicated that Congress will not return to live session until at least early May, but negotiations with the White House regarding the dimensions and provisions of an expected fourth response package are clearly underway.

For continuing coverage, visit NACo’s dynamic COVID-19 resource page, and stay tuned to Conduit Street.

 

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties
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