WASHINGTON – The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) endorsed a bipartisan bill written by U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to provide states and local governments with assistance to recover from COVID-19 and avoid mass layoffs of essential workers.
The USCM represents 1,400 cities across the country. The organization passed the resolution during its annual meeting this week. Louisiana’s parish presidents, the Louisiana Municipal Association, and Louisiana’s chambers of commerce have also thrown their support behind Cassidy’s SMART Act.
“Local government leaders understand just how badly the COVID-19 lockdown hurt their finances, making it harder to pay police officers, firefighters, teachers, sanitation worker and others. These services are essential if the United States is to fully recover from this pandemic,” said Dr. Cassidy.
The USCM resolution reads as follows:
“WHEREAS, without direct fiscal assistance, cities will not be able to provide critical resources to address the crisis, and will not be able to take the necessary steps to reopen safely and deliver effective services; WHEREAS, the SMART Act (S. 3752) would provide $500 billion in federal relief and funding to state and local governments while targeting federal resources to states, counties, and cities severely impacted from COVID-19; and WHEREAS, the funds provided by the SMART Act (S. 3752) would, among other things, help states, cities and counties meet fiscal obligations, expand testing capacity and contact tracing, and provide further assistance to residents, local hospitals, small businesses, and schools, in addition to maintaining critical services residents depend upon;
“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors thanks the sponsors of the State and Municipal Assistance for Recovery and Transition (SMART) Act (S. 3752/H.R. 6954) and urges Congress to promptly enact legislation that provides direct and flexible fiscal assistance to state and local governments, ensuring that states, cities, and counties have the financial resources to address the unprecedented public health, economic, and fiscal challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
More information about the SMART Act can be found here.