We Need Your Help in D.C. to Secure Much-Needed Coronavirus Stimulus Package
Posted on December 9, 2020 by
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.