At this time–and it could change in a heartbeat–it seems that aid to New Jersey municipalities will not be included in the compromise legislation being negotiated in Washington. There appears to be strong opposition coming from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and from the White House for that, at this time. Both Senator McConnell and U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin have indicated a willingness to further consider the plight of state and local governments, in future legislation.
We need to continue to push for passage of the Coronavirus Community Relief Act (the CCRA - H.R.6467) and its U.S. Senate companion, which awaits formal introduction. Currently on record sponsoring and supporting the CCRA are Senator Booker and House Members Malinowski, Gottheimer, Sherrill, Sires, Van Drew, and Watson Coleman.
Please contact your Congressman, if not yet a cosponsor, and urge him to get on board by cosponsoring the CCRA.
New Jersey Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr., along with Florida Congressman John Rutherford, is spearheading another effort to secure relief for our State and its local governments. They, along with 175 of their Democratic and Republican House colleagues, sent a bipartisan letter to the White House urging President Trump to eliminate the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) non-Federal cost share, required under the COVID-19 emergency and major disaster declarations. The current formula requires state and local governments to cover 25% of public assistance costs, while the federal government is responsible for 75% of the costs. According to federal regulations, FEMA can increase the federal cost-share for an emergency response to 100%, if warranted by the needs of a disaster, at the direction of the President.
Waiving the cost-share will allow local governments to free up additional money that can be used to shore up their budgets. The additional resources will also ensure that local governments can continue to support their frontline personnel to keep their communities safe.
The letter is supported by the National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors International Association of Fire Chiefs, International Association of Fire Fighters, International City/County Management Association, National Association of Counties, National Governors Association, and the National Volunteer Fire Council.
Included among the signatories to the letter are New Jersey Representatives Josh Gottheimer, Andy Kim, Donald Norcross, Frank Pallone, Don Payne, Tom Malinowski, Mikie Sherrill, Albio Sires, and Bonnie Watson Coleman.
If you are represented by either Congressman Smith or Congressman Van Drew, please urge them to support this initiative.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x121.