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Posted on: July 19, 2020

Local Aid to be Debated as Congress Reconvenes

On Monday, Congress will return to Washington. Press reports indicate that leaders in both Houses and in both political parties will seek bipartisan agreement on a new legislative response to the economic impact of the Coronavirus.

As the next COVID response bill is being negotiated, Members of Congress will hear from a host of special interests. Many of them will have legitimate needs. Please contact Senators Menendez and Booker and your Representative. Respectfully, ask that those needs be addressed in addition to, not instead of, the needs of New Jersey municipalities.

Senators Menendez and Booker and all Members of our House delegation have been strong advocates for direct local aid. Yesterday, League President Jim Perry, First Vice President Janice Kovach, Second Vice President Sue Howard, and Third Vice President Bill Chegwidden jointly signed letters to all of them. That letter states:

As the pandemic continues to plague our Nation, we thank you for your ongoing efforts to secure direct, substantial, and flexible federal support for all New Jersey municipalities

…Municipal revenues are down. Expenditures are up. Both of those pressures may intensify in the coming months, as businesses retrench and property tax assessments are appealed. Absent any federal support, vital municipal services, delivered by dedicated public servants, are headed for the chopping block. Our citizens and our private sector businesses depend on those employees and those services. And any hope for sustained economic and social recovery will be crippled without them. 

Direct, substantial, and flexible local aid is needed. All local governments, regardless of population, urgently need direct federal funding to continue to fight COVID-19, to protect their residents, and to promote the economic recovery, through the summer and beyond. The citizens of small towns matter just as much as the citizens of big counties, and New Jersey municipal employees contribute at least as much to society as private-sector workers.

Please, take the time to thank your Congress Member and Senators Menendez and Booker for their consideration. Encourage them to continue to fight for direct local aid for all New Jersey municipalities.

Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, jmoran@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x121.

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