Inside208

We Need Your Help in D.C. to Secure Much-Needed Coronavirus Stimulus Package

Posted on December 9, 2020 by Dene Westbrook

This is an important week for the Michigan Municipal League’s federal advocacy efforts to secure critical stimulus support for states and local governments. Our partners at the National League of Cities (NLC) need your help in securing this support. The NLC would like our MML members to use this tool to contact your federal lawmakers TODAY and this week.

The NLC is sending this message to local officials throughout the nation: “WE NEED YOU NOW TO CALL YOUR SENATORS AND ASK THAT AID TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS BE INCLUDED IN A FINAL COVID PACKAGE.”

Background: As you may have heard, a bipartisan group of federal legislators have proposed a $908 billion proposal that includes $160 billion in state and local aid. Secretary Mnuchin has also offered a $916 billion proposal on behalf of the Trump Administration that also includes the $160 billion in aid for state and local governments, but makes significant changes to other programs.

HOWEVER, Senate Majority Leader McConnell has pressed for dropping state and local aid entirely and reconsider the issue next Legislative session that begins in January. He’s urging this in an attempt to pass a very limited proposal that focuses on those areas where there is strong existing bi-partisan agreement.

This is not acceptable.

As the negotiations continue over the $908 billion bi-partisan proposal, it is critical that Senators from both parties hear from local government leaders around the country about why flexible, direct state and local federal aid is so important. 

As the League’s Community Stabilization Plan outlined, Michigan’s’ local governments are already feeling the impacts of the pandemic on their budgets. Michigan’s local governments are facing a fiscal crisis unseen since the Great Recession. This summer, for example, the state eliminated the August statutory revenue sharing payment cutting close to $100 million from cities, villages, counties, and townships in the last state budget. And now our 24 city income tax communities face an estimated $250 million loss of revenue this year. Plus, there are expected reductions in commercial property values as we move into the new year.

We have heard that U.S. Senators are questioning the need for state and local aid because they are not hearing from local governments that this is an important issue. It is vitally important to remind our own Sens Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters to hold firm that state and local aid be part of any stimulus package moved by the Senate this week.

We also ask that you reach out to members of the Senate Republican leadership to urge that state and local aid be part of a final agreement. Email addresses are provided below.

The time for action is now. If legislative text comes out this week and local aid is not in the bill, it will likely not make it into a final package, which would be a terrible blow to our states and  local communities.

Click here for talking points and a shortcut for your Senators’ office phone numbers. If you have a personal cell contact for your Senator or their staff, please use that instead to ensure you reach them in time.

Here are email addresses for Senate GOP Leadership, Senator Peters and Senator Stabenow:

Senator Staff Title Email
Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) Chief of Staff lisa_goeas@ernst.senate.gov
Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) Chief of Staff john_connell@young.senate.gov
Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Chief of Staff philip_maxson@mcconnell.senate.gov
Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Chief of Staff Sharon_Soderstrom@mcconnell.senate.gov
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) Chief of Staff eric_feldman@peters.senate.gov
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) State Director elise_lancaster@peters.senate.gov
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) State Director Teresa_Plachetka@Stabenow.senate.gov
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) Chief of Staff matt_vankuiken@stabenow.senate.gov
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) Chief of Staff stacy_mcbride@blunt.senate.gov
Whip John Thune (R-SD) Chief of Staff; State Director ryan_nelson@thune.senate.gov
Whip John Thune (R-SD) Chief of Staff nick_rossi@thune.senate.gov
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) Chief of Staff dan_kunsman@barrasso.senate.gov
Locations
Headquarters
1675 Green Road,
Ann Arbor MI 48105
 
Capitol Office
208 N. Capitol Ave.,
1st Floor Lansing, MI 48933
©2022 Michigan Municipal League LLC. All rights reserved