Today, U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) introduced the State and Municipal Assistance for Recovery and Transition (SMART) Act in the Senate. The bill include flexible funding to counties of all sizes.
The National Association of Counties (NACo) released the following statement. NACo Executive Director Matthew Chase said:
The SMART Act provides essential federal aid for counties at a time when our revenues are plummeting, yet demands for our frontline public health and public safety services are skyrocketing. We are encouraged by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle working with us to address the urgent needs of county governments, including our economic response and recovery priorities. We thank Senators Menendez, Cassidy, Manchin, Collins, Booker and Hyde-Smith for their bipartisan leadership to achieve our shared goal of saving lives and restoring our economy.”
Led by 40,000 elected county officials and a workforce of 3.6 million public servants, America’s 3,069 counties support over 1,900 local public health departments, nearly 1,000 public hospitals and critical access clinics, more than 800 long-term care facilities and 750 behavioral health centers.
Additionally, county governments are responsible for emergency operations centers and 911 services, court and jail management, public safety and emergency response, protective services for children, seniors and veterans, and the “last of the first responders” with coroners and medical examiners.
NACo’s We Are Counties campaign features pictures and videos of county workers across the country. View NACo’s newest video thanking the heroes serving on the front lines of this pandemic here. Look for #WeAreCounties on social media, and learn more about the campaign and view other NACo resources at www.WeAreCounties.org.