Louisiana community leaders are urging Congress to pass a bill written by U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) that supports state and local governments that have seen their budgets bottom out because of COVID-19.
Cassidy’s SMART Act creates a fund to assist state and local governments avoid layoffs of essential workers such as police officers, firefighters, teachers and sanitation workers. It has received support from 22 parish presidents, more than 80 mayors and the Louisiana Municipal Association (LMA), and the Louisiana Chambers of Commerce Executives (LACCE).
“Local community leaders know the challenges facing them in the COVID-19 recovery. Perhaps the biggest is the budgetary shortfall created by the economic lockdown. The SMART Act is necessary to keep local essential workers employed. I appreciate those on the frontlines for their support,” said Dr. Cassidy.
“As elected leaders with parish populations ranging from over 400,000 to 18,000, the COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for all local governments, not only within Louisiana, but nationally. The extreme loss of tax revenues…has the potential to have an extremely detrimental effect on our role to provide for the citizens of our parish,” wrote the parish presidents.
“This legislation aims to deliver critical federal relief and funding to cities, towns and villages on the front lines of America’s response to, and recovery from, COVID-19,” wrote the mayors and LMA. “With millions of jobs and economic recovery at stake, it is critical Congress approve an aid package that will help sustain vital services to Americans during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Providing federal relief for municipalities across the nation is critical to advancing the reopening of America and our national economic recovery, on which thousands of jobs and the livelihoods of American families depend,” wrote the LACCE.
Read more about Cassidy’s SMART Act here.
View the letter from parish presidents here.
View the letter from the Louisiana Municipal Association here.
View the letter from the Louisiana Chambers of Commerce here.