WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) delivered a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate to urge his colleagues to support funding for state and local governments in the next COVID-19 relief package. Specifically, Cassidy supported the SMART Act, a bipartisan bill he authored with U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) to provide $500 billion to state and local governments to replace revenue lost due to the pandemic.
The SMART Act would deliver funds to states and local governments in three equal tranches: one-third based on population, one-third based on infection rate, and one-third based on revenue loss.
“The health and safety of the people of the United States and Louisiana remain my top priority,” Dr. Cassidy said. “The HEALS Act includes stimulus checks for Americans, support for small businesses, and billions to help schools reopen. While these are critically important to economic recovery, so, too, are essential services provided by states and local communities. I’m talking about police officers, firefighters, teachers, sanitation workers and other municipal employees. Because of economic lockdowns, states and local governments have seen their tax bases erode, which threatens their ability to pay the very people we need to keep our communities running.”
Menendez and SMART Act cosponsor U.S. Senator Susan Collins joined Cassidy in delivering their own speeches in support of the bill.