In a letter sent to Congressional leadership today, Attorney General Ashley Moody joined 48 other attorneys general in urging Congress to extend the Dec. 30, 2020 deadline for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act funding through to the end of 2021. By extending funding, state and local governments will continue to have access to financial aid and resources for COVID-19 related expenses.
Moody said, “COVID-19 has had a devastating financial impact for both individuals and our communities as a whole. We must remain mindful that our communities will continue to need financial resources to help our state and local economies recover from these challenging times.”
With several pending measures, including extension measures in both the U.S. House and Senate, the letter urges Congress to pass one of these measures to give states and local communities additional time to utilize precious COVID-19 relief resources.
In anticipation of unprecedented costs and economic disruption stemming from the pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act in March. The move provided more than $150 billion in economic aid to state, tribal and local governments in an effort to combat the impacts of the pandemic. However, one of the restrictions placed on the funding limits the money’s use to expenses incurred between March 1, 2020, and Dec. 30, 2020.
The letter states: “This time frame likely made sense in late March when the CARES Act was passed, but we have learned a great deal about COVID-19 in the past seven months. Among other things, we know that the pandemic will continue to challenge communities well beyond Dec. 30, 2020 – a deadline that now seems unreasonable.”
As the pandemic continues to set records for infections, state and local communities will continue to incur COVID-19 related expenses next year. By Congress extending the deadline, communities nationwide will be able to be more focused and efficient with the use of CARES Act funds.
In addition to Florida, the attorneys general of the following states and territories signed the letter: Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.