WASHINGTON – As the coronavirus pandemic continues, state and local governments and residents are feeling the devastating health and economic impacts. With negotiations on the next federal coronavirus relief package nearing an end, counties continue to call for responsible federal relief, ensuring existing and any new federal resources reach county governments on the front lines of the public health pandemic and related economic fallout.
National Association of Counties (NACo) Executive Director Matthew Chase released the following statement:
As White House officials and leaders of both parties in the House and Senate continue negotiations on a bipartisan coronavirus relief package agreement, America’s counties have a simple message: a deal without aid for state and local governments is a bad deal.
“For county leaders, our ultimate goal is to reopen and rebuild our economies in a safe, sustainable way. This will take more resources at the county level as we tackle the public health pandemic in a smart, balanced manner.
“County leaders are also working overtime with local chambers of commerce, nonprofit service providers and countless other partners to address the economic and emotional toll from this crisis.
“America’s 3.6 million county employees – hospital workers, first responders, public health and human services officials, law enforcement personnel, coroners and medical examiners, and other county employees – are delivering vital services to our residents.
“As we fulfill our vast frontline responsibilities, our public finances – which provide the needed resources to keep our communities safe – are taking a major hit. The vast majority of counties have received inadequate or no federal aid, and our budget impacts grow deeper every day.
“The COVID-19 pandemic could lead to massive budgetary effects for county governments and local taxpayers, with as much as $202 billion in lost revenue and increased expenditures through FY2021.
“Investing in counties and other local governments means investing in every square inch of America. Counties are leading on-the-ground public health efforts, and our local economies are the building blocks of a strong national economy.
“As our federal partners negotiate, we urge them to ensure that counties of all sizes have access to additional direct, flexible funding to fight this pandemic, rebuild the economy and strengthen our communities. We urge members of the House and Senate to oppose any agreement that does not invest in counties.”
NACo’s coronavirus online hub includes county level examples of response efforts, interactive maps and analyses of federal actions. View this resource-rich webpage at www.naco.org/coronavirus.Standard