NACo Legislative Analysis for Counties: COVID-19 Relief and Omnibus Spending Package   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Summary: "After months of stalled negotiations over the next round of federal coronavirus aid, on December 21, Congress passed a massive $2.3 trillion legislative package [hyperlink] containing 'both' appropriations for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 and additional COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] relief. A big package like this had eluded Congress since they passed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. [public law] 116-136 [hyperlink]) in March with negotiations stopping and starting throughout the summer of 2020. Although NACo [National Association of Counties] was deeply involved in the negotiations, and was able to secure numerous victories [hyperlink] for counties, counties are extremely disappointed that this legislative package does not contain additional direct and flexible funding for state and local governments. Despite the fact that more than 1 million local government employees have lost their jobs, and counties face a daily onslaught of fatalities and economic hardships in our communities, local governments did not get the direct relief they asked from our federal partners. This legislation does however include another round of Payment Protection Program (PPP) funding for small businesses, unemployment benefits, and funding for vaccine distribution and testing. The bill also includes funding for nutrition assistance, child care and rental assistance to support households impacted by COVID-19. Importantly, after advocacy from NACo and others, the bill also 'extends the deadline for counties to spend money allocated through the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) [hyperlink] until December 31, 2021.' This extension is no substitute for additional flexibility in that program, or additional aid. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, America's counties have taken the lead in both responding to the public health crisis and promoting our economic recovery from this national disaster. As strong allies in the federal-state-local partnership, we have called for direct and flexible federal funding to allow us to best serve our residents. 'The new COVID-19 legislation falls short of providing counties with the resources needed to best keep our communities safe and healthy.' We will continue to press the 117th Congress and the Biden Administration to honor the work of our frontline county employees who are carrying America through this pandemic."

National Association of Counties
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National Association of Counties: https://www.naco.org/
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