June 22, 2020

Senator Hassan Cosponsors Bipartisan Bill to Increase Flexibility for State COVID-19 Relief Funds

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan cosponsored a bipartisan bill led by Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) that would make clear that the federal relief funds provided to local governments in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act can be used to replace revenue shortfalls resulting from the pandemic.

 

“In order to save countless lives, businesses in New Hampshire and states across the country closed and people stayed at home to do their part in slowing the spread of COVID-19 – but this also resulted in significant economic losses for state and local governments,” said Senator Hassan. “As our economy begins to recover, it is essential that state and local governments aren’t forced to make severe cuts. This bipartisan bill makes clear that COVID-19 relief funds can go toward backfilling state and local government’s budget. I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to move forward on an additional COVID-19 relief package that provides significant additional support and flexibility for state and local governments as we work to support the economic recovery."

 

New Hampshire received $1.25 billion as part of the CARES Act’s $150 billion of relief funding to states, tribes, and municipalities. The U.S. Treasury Department issued guidance restricting these resources from being directed toward revenue shortfalls. The Coronavirus Relief Fund Flexibility Act that Senator Hassan cosponsored aims to clarify the matter and ensure that state and local governments have the flexibility that they need to continue pandemic recovery efforts and backfill revenue shortfalls.

 

The bipartisan bill is part of Senator Hassan’s ongoing efforts to support state and local governments as they aide in COVID-19 recovery efforts. During a Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing earlier this month, Senator Hassan raised the importance of this additional support for state and local governments in order to avoid education cuts and meet the needs of students as schools prepare for the fall. Senator Hassan also heard from mayors across New Hampshire about the importance of this funding, and she led a bipartisan group of her former governors in calling for increased flexibility for COVID-19 relief funding.

 

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