SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, as part of a bipartisan coalition of 49 attorneys general, today urged Congress to extend by one year funding for state and local governments in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provides financial assistance to communities for expenses incurred due to COVID-19. The CARES Act, passed by Congress in March, reimburses state and local governments for certain expenses incurred through December 31, 2020. However, communities across the country will continue to incur expenses as the fight against the pandemic continues. California received $15.3 billion in CARES Act funding this year, according to the Los Angeles Times. Approximately $5.8 billion was provided to California’s most populous cities and counties, and $9.5 billion was allocated to the state, which then directed the funds to K-12 schools, public health emergency response efforts and other areas.
“When Congress passed the CARES Act in the spring, nobody knew that COVID-19 would still be surging the following winter, both in California and across the nation. Congress can save lives today by renewing the CARES Act,” said Attorney General Becerra. “In today’s letter, a bipartisan coalition is standing up to say our communities need emergency relief dollars to protect hospital patients, students, workers and other victims of the pandemic. We desperately need broader relief to protect our families and rebuild our economy. But let's at least start by extending eligibility for state and local expenditures.”
The bipartisan legislation, S. 4494, would extend the eligibility period by one year, to December 31, 2021, for state and local expenses covered by the CARES Act.
In issuing the letter, Attorney General Becerra joins the attorneys general of Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, 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, and the District of Columbia.
A copy of the letter is available here.