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Bi-Partisan Coalition of County Leaders and Congressional Representatives and Issue ‘Last Call to Save Local Jobs and Services’

Call for Direct Federal Aid to State and Local Governments
Today, county leaders from across the state and members of the New York Congressional Delegation called on the President and congressional leaders to reach an agreement on a stimulus bill that includes direct, flexible aid to states and local governments.
 
View a recording of today's event here.
 
With counties more than halfway through their budget year and facing the increased costs of fighting COVID-19 while experiencing massive drops in revenue, time is running out for congressional leaders and the White House to reach a deal on a final stimulus package that provides desperately needed aid to state and local governments.
 
With thousands of jobs, vital services and millions of dollars in economic activity at risk if Congress fails to act, a bipartisan coalition or county and federal leaders are calling for immediate action to prevent further cuts to local governments that could jeopardize efforts to keep COVID-19 under control and slow the economic recovery.
 
“For nearly 6 months, counties have been responding to a pandemic that began as a public health crisis and evolved into an economic crisis,” said John F. Marren, President of the New York State Association of Counties and Chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors. “Counties have tightened their belts to do more with less than anyone ever thought possible—leading the local health response to the virus and providing essential services to support our communities. But local governments are out of time and need Congress to reach an agreement to provide direct, flexible aid to local governments before they're forced to make drastic cuts to jobs and services.”
 
“Counties big and small, rural and urban all stepped up and led the fight against COVID-19 as the economic lockdown decimated revenues. Now they need direct aid from Washington to avoid cuts to local services that our residents rely on, and layoffs which will weaken local economies and prolong the recession,” said Dan McCoy, Albany County Executive and President of the New York County Executives Association.
 
“Time is running out for counties to receive federal stimulus aid. Massive drops in revenue are forcing deep cuts to services and layoffs that will slow the economic recovery and risk our progress against the virus. We're grateful to have allies representing New York in Congress who understand that any stimulus legislation must include federal aid to state and local governments and we applaud Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and the entire NY Delegation for their efforts to provide local governments with the resources they need,” said Stephen Acquario, Executive Director of the New York State Association of Counties.
 
“It's clear that one of the most surefire ways to navigate this crisis is by making sure that our communities have the support and stability they need,” said Rep.Joe Morelle. “I'm proud to have sponsored and cosponsored a series of bills that together would work to ensure localities have access to much needed relief, but it's critical we continue to have conversations like this one to supplement action we take to help our state. As we look towards healing, both on the public health and economic front, we must continue to find ways to adequately protect and care for localities-both in New York and across our country.”

“Throughout this crisis, counties have been on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19. Now more than ever, many communities are relying on the first responders, police officers, and other essential services provided by local governments to keep them safe,” said Congressman Tom Reed. “We are continuing to fight for direct, targeted aid to New York counties as outlined in our ‘SMART' Act because we care about our local governments and their role in restoring our communities. Congress must pass a stimulus deal that includes provisions to ensure federal aid and traditional state funding flows to the localities who need it most.” 

“I proudly joined the New York State Association of Counties today to once again demand direct federal aid for state and local governments in the next coronavirus relief bill,” said Rep. Kathleen Rice. “This relief funding is about saving our economy and saving lives – it should not be partisan. I will continue to do everything I can in Congress to ensure our communities get the federal resources they need to overcome this crisis.” 
 
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Media Contact: Mark LaVigne | MLavigne@nysac.org | 518-465-1473 x206

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