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Support for Inclusion of the State, Local Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act in the next legislative or spending vehicle

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The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker
United States House of Representatives

The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Majority Leader
United States Senate

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Republican Leader
United States House of Representatives

The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Republican Leader
United States Senate

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader Schumer and Leader McConnell:

On behalf of the nation’s state, territory, and local governments, we urge the inclusion of the bipartisan State, Local Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act (S. 3011/H.R. 5735) in the next legislative or spending vehicle so that it can be signed into law. This legislation, approved by unanimous consent in the Senate on October 19, 2021, would provide additional flexibility under the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (CSLFRF) that was included in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and assist with the implementation of this major new program.

Since the enactment of ARPA, we have been working collaboratively with our respective memberships, the White House and the U.S. Department of the Treasury to implement the $350 billion provided under the law. We believe that this new legislation would both streamline and strengthen this historic program in a number of key ways, including:

  • Allowing the greater of $10 million or 30 percent of the total ARPA allocation provided to a state or local government to be used under a new, separate provision that further allows infrastructure- related activities authorized under federal surface transportation laws or Title I of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974.
  • Allowing CSLFRF funding to be used to provide, “emergency relief from natural disasters or the negative economic impacts of natural disasters, including temporary emergency housing, food assistance, financial assistance for lost wages, or other immediate needs.”
  • Providing the Department of the Treasury with flexibility in its use of administrative funds to continue to advise and support our member governments as they carry out crucial programs including the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. Absent this flexibility, we are very concerned that Treasury’s diminished capacity to administer these programs will hamper our efforts to spend funds effectively to respond to the needs of our residents across the country.

America’s state, territory, and local governments have been engaged in our nation’s response to COVID-19 since the earliest days; and providing these governments with flexible, essential financial resources is the surest way to see that our nation’s preparedness and responsivity continue. As intergovernmental partners, we thank you for the support provided through ARPA and respectfully ask you to include S. 3011/H.R. 5735 – inclusive of all provisions contained within the legislation – in the next legislative or spending vehicle to help achieve our shared goals of mitigating, responding to and fostering a transformational recovery from the unprecedented national pandemic.

Sincerely,

Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director, The United States Conference of Mayors

Clarence Anthony, CEO and Executive Director, National League of Cities

Matthew D. Chase, CEO/Executive Director, National Association of Counties

Marc Ott, Executive Director, International City/County Management Association

David Adkins, Executive Director/CEO, The Council of State Governments

Bill McBride, Executive Director, National Governors Association

Tim Storey, Executive Director, National Conference of State Legislatures

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