May 04, 2020
Washington, D.C.—In a letter to President Donald Trump today highlighting the financial strain Maine’s state and local governments are experiencing as a direct result of COVID-19, Maine’s Congressional Delegation advocated for providing additional federal assistance to states and municipalities that have lost substantial revenue resulting from the current public health and economic crisis.
U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden expressed their strong support for legislation to provide financial relief to state and local governments and give governors the flexibility to distribute this funding to meet communities’ needs.
“Unforeseen public health expenditures related to the pandemic, along with reduced economic activity related to stay-at-home orders, have led to reduced revenues for our state and local governments. Our restaurants, retailers, bars, small hotels, and so many more businesses have had to close their doors. These Main Street businesses are the heart of many communities and a major source of revenue for our state and local governments,” Senators Collins and King and Representatives Pingree and Golden wrote. “As these sources [of revenue] decline, the losses will be felt across the board – at public schools, in health care programs, in highway and bridge infrastructure needs, and in other essential services paid for by state and local governments. We must act now to protect vital local services to prevent furloughs of public servants, including police, firefighters, medical professionals, and educators.”
“When we provide federal assistance, it should reach all of our communities including those that are small and rural, be flexible to meet state needs, and be geared toward all concerns related to COVID-19,” the Maine Delegation continued in their letter to the president. “We look forward to continuing to work with you and our colleagues in Congress to help the State of Maine, its communities, and the American people overcome the coronavirus crisis.”
Maine received $1.25 billion in direct assistance under the CARES Act; however, Maine’s 487 municipalities were not eligible for direct assistance because the legislation prevented all but the largest U.S. cities from receiving direct money. Additionally, no Maine municipalities meet the county or city size threshold to be eligible for loans from Treasury’s Municipal Liquidity Facility.
Click HERE to read the Maine Delegation’s letter.