CA League of Cities 3/30

Other State Announcements / Updates

CalOES Additional Information:

Federal Update

  • President Trump extended the federal government’s social distancing guidelines through April 30. Last week, Trump had suggested that the guidelines could sunset by Easter Sunday, April 13, which health experts had warned against.
  • FEMA COVID Advisory for March 30

National League of Cities Update:

The CARES Act signed into law last week provides state and local governments $139 billion. It has been reported as $150 billon, but that does not account for funds earmarked for the District of Columbia and territories as well as tribal governments.  

We heard from the White House today that governments under 500,000 may receive the funding from their State, but that it will be at the State’s discretion.  In response to this, NLC is sending attached letter that outlines that a limiting clause in the definition of use of funds should not restrict a State from disbursing funds to local governments.   

Our letter also seeks clarification on a second issue that could free up more money to local governments. What if the common wisdom regarding “with a population that exceeds 500,000” is only meant to define the last term in a list of terms: “other unit of general government below the State level.”  We believe we found Supreme Court authority that supports that position, Lockhart v. U.S. (2016). If Treasury accepts the reading the Court handed down in Lockhart, then counties, municipalities, towns, townships, villages, parishes, boroughs as well as a general government below the State level with a population that exceeds 500,000 would be eligible for funds allocated to units of local government.

Finally, we sought clarity on what year census data the Treasury will use for allocations. Will they use the 2018 census data or the 2019 census data? Some cities on the cusp might be left out of receiving direct allocations if 2018 data is used.  The Treasury Department has confirmed they will be on the White House call Wednesday to answer additional questions about these items. 

Few other key updates for you:

  • NLC is currently working with USCM to send a survey to all municipalities to ascertain how much loss in revenues municipalities expect to have in the short and long term.  We hope to have the survey in the field by tomorrow, with data back by the end of this week. We will be using the data to make the case for direct funding to all municipalities, regardless of population size. We will be sharing with each of you the survey to share with your respective memberships.

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