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CEO DATELINE—Trade groups help push for more aid to states, localities

By Kathryn Walson
July 2, 2020

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More than 170 groups, including a number of national associations, signed a letter Monday asking the Senate to provide more federal funding to states, counties, cities and towns, which face budget shortfalls. The Senate may decide on another COVID-19 spending bill later this month.

“If the Senate fails to act immediately to support state and local governments, our nation’s recovery from the pandemic-induced recession will suffer and millions of Americans will needlessly be harmed,” the coalition wrote to Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The letter’s signatories included the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Internet Association, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties and the National Governors Association.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which passed March 27, established a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund for state and local governments. The fund was intended to help cover “necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency” from March 1 through the end of the year.

However, more than 1 million state and local government jobs have been lost since March, and more employees will be furloughed or laid off without further federal aid, the letter stated.

“More robust and direct stimulus is needed for state and local governments to both rebuild the economy and maintain essential services in education, health care, emergency operations, public safety and more,” the coalition wrote.