WASHINGTON – The bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus introduced the “March to Common Ground” framework for the next coronavirus relief package. The framework envisions additional vital relief to local governments to address both lost revenue and increased expenditures as the result of the coronavirus pandemic.
National Association of Counties (NACo) Executive Director Matthew Chase released the following statement:
America’s counties are serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, fulfilling our vast responsibilities – many of which are mandated by states and the federal government – to preserve residents’ health, safety and overall well-being.
“We have strongly urged leaders of both parties to resume negotiations on a bipartisan relief package that provides direct, flexible aid to counties of all sizes. And we are committed to deploying federal resources wisely and responsibly to address the immediate, far-reaching impacts of the pandemic.
“We are encouraged by the bipartisan ‘March to Common Ground’ framework introduced by the Problem Solvers Caucus. This framework spotlights the real needs of state and local governments as counties face massive budgetary impacts totaling as much as $202 billion through FY2021.
“Counties are playing a significant role in mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 while also providing essential support to small businesses, schools, record numbers of unemployed individuals, and those suffering from mental illnesses and substance use disorders. We remain focused on protecting our most vulnerable residents, such as at-risk children and seniors, who suffer from this pandemic at disproportionate rates.
“We welcome the latest bipartisan momentum and call on the White House and congressional leaders to reach an agreement on a coronavirus relief bill that ensures counties of all sizes have access to additional direct, flexible funding to fight this pandemic, rebuild the economy and strengthen our communities.”
America’s 3,069 county governments support over 1,900 local public health departments, nearly 1,000 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, among many other essential public services.
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