On Wednesday, Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, raised the specter of a devastating multiyear recession if Congress and the White House do not authorize more aid to address the COVID pandemic’s economic fallout. “Additional fiscal support could be costly but worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and leaves us with a stronger recovery,” said Chairman Powell.
Also on Wednesday, the Murphy Administration began to reveal the impact of the virus on the State’s budget. Currently, the Administration admits that State revenues will fall by $10 Billion through this, and New Jersey’s next, Fiscal Year. That gap makes dim the prospects for municipal relief from the State.
Last week in Washington, legislation was introduced legislation in the House that would, in addition to several other items, provide substantial, flexible, and assured funding to every municipality and county in our State, both this year and next.
The ‘Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act’ or ‘The HEROES Act’ (H.R. 6800) would create a $375 Billion ‘Coronavirus Local Fiscal Relief Fund.’ Two-thirds of the funding would be appropriated within 30 days of the bill’s enactment. The final third would need to be delivered during the Federal government’s next Fiscal Year, between April 15 and May 3, 2021.
According to the bill, municipalities and counties could use Local Relief Funding ‘… to respond to, mitigate, cover costs or replace foregone revenues not projected on January 1, 2020, stemming from the public health emergency, or its negative economic impact …’
With this funding, New Jersey municipalities, the level of government closest to the people and closest to their problems, will be able to continue to deliver quality services to local citizens and our Main Street businesses. Without those services, Hometown New Jersey will not be able to rebound from the crisis, and our economy and our business community will continue to suffer.
For more analysis of the bill, see the League’s HEROES Act Town Crier blogpost.
And please contact your Member of the House of Representatives and Senators Menendez and Booker. Urge them to support H.R. 6800.
Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x121.