U.S. Senate Interim Coronavirus Relief Package a Positive Step

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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate today passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, also known as the “COVID-19 3.5” relief package. National Association of Counties (NACo) Executive Director Matthew Chase released the following statement:

“The package passed by the U.S. Senate is a good step to support counties’ vast health, safety and economic recovery responsibilities, many of which are mandated by states and the federal government, but we need more resources as we address this unprecedented pandemic.

“County revenues are plummeting while costs are skyrocketing. We found that the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to massive budgetary impacts for county governments and local taxpayers, with as much as $144 billion in lost revenue and increased expenditures through FY2021.

“We welcome President Trump’s commitment to allow counties to use CARES Act and future funding to cover lost revenue, and his pledge to provide additional aid for states and local governments in a future relief package.

“As we move forward, we will work in a bipartisan fashion to ensure robust, direct and flexible funding for counties of all sizes in future relief packages. Investing in counties means investing in public health and local economies.

“Counties are on the front lines of addressing the far-reaching health, safety and economic impacts of COVID-19, and we urge the administration and Congress to unite in supporting relief efforts on the ground.”

Led by 40,000 elected county officials, counties’ 3.6 million employees serve more than 300 million residents, operating over 1,900 public health departments, nearly 1,000 hospitals, more than 800 long-term care facilities and 750 behavioral health centers. Additionally, county governments are responsible for emergency operations centers, human services, jail management, 911 services, coroners and medical examiners.

NACo’s coronavirus online hub includes county level examples of response efforts, maps tracking county and state emergency declarations and analyses of federal actions. View this resource-rich webpage at www.naco.org/coronavirus.