Counties Would See $3 Billion in Aid from Updated HEROES Act
New York’s county leaders today renewed their call for the White House and Congressional leaders to reach an agreement that would provide local governments with direct federal Coronavirus stimulus assistance. The leaders met this morning to close the New York State Association of Counties’ (NYSAC’s) virtual Fall Seminar.
“Every day that passes without a deal on direct aid to local governments, the deeper the economic hole that is being dug in our communities,” said NYSAC President John F. Marren. “Local governments stepped up and expended great resources to stop the spread of the virus and now, with state aid being withheld and revenue collection down, counties are being forced to cut services and lay off employees, which only depresses the economy further. It’s time for Washington to get behind a plan and get this done for the American people.”
“We are in the middle of a national emergency that is impacting every community in New York and across the country. The federal government has provided emergency assistance to businesses and individuals, now it must do the same for the local governments who have been most impacted by this public health crisis so we can continue to battle COVID-19 and prevent further damage to our economy,” said Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, president of the NYS County Executives’ Association.
According to NYSAC’s analysis of the HEROES Act, which was moved by leaders in the House of Representatives this week, counties across the state would receive nearly $3 billion in federal stimulus from the modified HEROES Act. Through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, entitlement communities across New York State–municipalities over 50,000 in population–would receive about $2.4 billion. Other, smaller cities and localities across the state, would receive $2.2 billion. New York City, which is home to more than half of the state’s 19 million people, would receive $5.35 billion.
During the meeting, leaders were briefed by White House Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs William Crozer on the Trump administration’s response to COVID-19 and the administration’s support for an additional $250 billion to states and localities across the country. Crozer applauded NYSAC’s economic analysis, saying that it was the most comprehensive COVID-19 revenue impact report from any state in the nation.
“Counties appreciate the continued partnership and open dialog that we’ve had with the White House as they’ve led the local response to the global pandemic, but the time as come for all parties in Washington to come together and reach an agreement on direct aid to local governments,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario.
The county leaders acknowledged the support they have from the bi-partisan state congressional delegation and called on them to press leaders from both parties to agree on a plan that will provide federal funding to states and local governments.
The New York State Association of Counties is a bipartisan municipal association serving all the counties of New York State, including the City of New York. Organized in 1925, NYSAC’s mission is to represent, educate, serve and advocate for member counties and the elected and appointed county officials who serve the public. For more information, visit www.nysac.org