NLC President Joe Buscaino Statement on Need for COVID-19 Aid to Local Governments

April 22, 2020

Washington, DC – Today, the House passed an interim package to provide $484 billion to small businesses and hospitals. It passed the Senate on Tuesday, and the President is expected to sign swiftly. Unfortunately, state and local governments are being asked to wait until the next bill to get financial relief from the federal government.

The following is a statement from Joe Buscaino, Council President Pro Tempore, Los Angeles and President, National League of Cities.

“The National League of Cities applauds Congress and the Administration for persevering through difficult circumstances to advance bipartisan emergency Coronavirus packages. Unfortunately, none of the funding established by Congress to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the economy is guaranteed to reach local governments directly.

Local governments were the first to respond with extraordinary measures to the pandemic – and without dedicated emergency funding for state and local aid, we will not be able to sustain our efforts. We are heartened by the President’s comments and the bipartisan pledge to begin the next phase of legislative assistance with fiscal relief for state and local governments. Cities, towns and villages are eager to work with our federal partners on dedicated, flexible, and direct funding for each and every local government, regardless of size.

Federal policymakers must recognize that the cost of diminished local response efforts due to budgetary constraints will be far worse for the country than the cost of stabilizing local budgets now through direct federal support.”

Visit covid19.nlc.org for response resources for local leaders.

The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.