CA League of Cities Update 4/17

Governor Newsom announced a new taskforce for Business and Jobs Recovery, which includes economic and social sectors.  The Governor also signed an executive order to allow county child welfare agencies and probation departments to perform necessary functions using alternative processes other than face-to-face interactions.  Due to technical issues from the Governor’s webcast, the League does not have notes from today’s press conference.

On Monday, the California State Assembly will hold its first Budget subcommittee hearing next week focused on the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Budget Subcommittee No. 6 Process Oversight and Program Evaluation hearing is scheduled for Monday, April 20, at 10:00am in the California State Capitol.  You can view this hearing on the Assembly’s website.  The League’s team will be actively monitoring this hearing and will provide an update in Monday’s daily update email.

We anticipate the Governor will have more information about Project Roomkey over the weekend based on his comments earlier this week.  We will provide updates this weekend if there is additional information to share. 

At the federal level, the Federal Communications Commission has begun disbursing funds from the $200 million authorized for telehealth in the CARES Act. Grants are available to healthcare providers for providing devices and connectivity to patients at home or in mobile healthcare locations for response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Local governments interested in participating must collaborate through an eligible nonprofit or public health care provider. Funds will be disbursed on a rolling basis until the appropriated amount is exhausted.  For more information and the application, visit the FCC’s telehealth program page.

The U.S. EPA has updated its coronavirus website to include new resources for state, local, and tribal agencies and intergovernmental associations.

Federal Updates

  • National League of Cities Update

Thank you State Municipal Leagues as well as NLC’s members for tremendous work on reaching out to your Members of Congress. Your efforts are paying off.  Just in the past week, we have received support letters from Mayors, City Councilmembers, City Managers, your Governors, your Members of Congress calling for immediate direct and flexible relief to local governments of all sizes.

Today, Representative Joe Neguse of CO added two dozen more members of Congress to the Coronavirus Community Relief Act, bringing the count so far to 134 members, which is more than 30 percent of the House. Two Republicans joined the bill today-Representatives Fred Upton of Michigan and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey.

We also learned that NM Senator Martin Heinrich will introduce the Senate companion bill to HR6467 next week in a pro forma session. The Coronavirus Community Relief Act, led by Senator Heinrich, is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). You can find the bill text here.

NLC is building support for the Coronavirus Community Relief Act to ensure that local governments with populations under 500,000 will have access to the funds from state distributions received from the Coronavirus Relief Fund that the CARES Act created. In addition, loss in revenues under this bill would be considered a COVID related expense. This bill would not take away funds from the 36 cities eligible to receive funds directly from Treasury.

Once again, NLC is advocating for an additional $250 billion in direct relief for local governments of all sizes. Here is the request sent yesterday to the Administration and Congress

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