Pingree Co-Sponsors Legislation to Provide $250 Billion to Local Governments During COVID-19
Portland, Maine, April 7, 2020
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) joined Congressmen Joe Neguse (D-Col.), Andy Levin (D-Mich.), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), and Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) in introducing the Coronavirus Community Relief Act, a bill to provide $250 billion in funding to smaller local governments. The bill is cosponsored by 75 members of the U.S House of Representatives. Municipalities and counties with a population under 500,000 were left out of targeted relief from the CARES Act, Congress’ third legislative initiative to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
“No matter the size of their population, Maine counties, cities, and towns have stepped up to the plate to combat the spread of coronavirus and take action to protect their residents,” said Congresswoman Pingree. “They deserve the same direct stabilization funding that larger cities and counties are receiving under the CARES Act. This bill will support our communities through this crisis and help us to rebuild, and I hope to see this fix prioritized in Congress’ next legislative response to the coronavirus pandemic.”
Cities and counties around the country are facing unprecedented increases in cost due to the coronavirus pandemic. The CARES Act appropriated a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund for local aid; however, cities and counties below 500,000 do not meet the population requirement in the bill and thus will not receive direct federal aid. The Coronavirus Community Relief Act would fix that issue by creating a new fund for local governments with populations under 500,000. Maine is the most rural state in the nation and with a statewide population of only 1.3 million, no Maine municipalities or counties contain more than 500,000 people.
On April 2, Pingree joined 128 members of the House of Representatives on a letter urging Speaker Nancy Pelosi to include provisions from the Coronavirus Community Relief Act in future COVID-19 response packages. The signed copy of the letter can be found here.