The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments is urging the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate for additional funding in hopes of preventing layoffs of public employees.
During the council’s May meeting Wednesday, the group determined the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES Act, did not provide enough money for state and municipal governments.
The CARES Act, passed in late March, provided $150 billion in direct assistance for state and local governments.
The group, which is a nonprofit with membership from 24 D.C.-area local governments around the region, unanimously agreed to send an official letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, stating the local governments in the D.C. area are concerned about their fiscal outlook after responding to the pandemic.
The letter says, “The public health and economic crisis created by this pandemic underscores the need for continuing fiscal aid which accounts for the skyrocketing costs and declining revenues for state and local governments in our region.”
Leaders continued by asking for an additional $250 billion in funding for local and state governments across the U.S.
A main point raised by the council was shortfalls in local budgets that could affect employment. The letter notes that layoffs could occur, which “will dampen the national economic recovery.”
The council suggests that aid should be flexible federal funding with provisions that it could be spent beyond one year.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo have requested an additional $500 billion to relieve budget shortfalls in state governments.
The House is expected to vote on a new $3 trillion package Friday.
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