Delgado’s Bipartisan Direct Support for Communities Act Included in Heroes Act
WASHINGTON, DC—This week, House of Representatives leadership unveiled the Heroes Act, the latest emergency legislation to respond to the coronavirus and ensure support for state and local governments who have taken on enormous debts while responding to this public health crisis. The legislation includes a number of provisions to support our nation’s response to the pandemic, including the funding formula in Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19)’s bipartisan Direct Support for Communities Act, introduced with Republican Lee Zeldin (NY-01) and U.S. Senators for New York Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, which provides local governments with direct federal relief that can be used to pay for essential services and offset lost revenues and increased costs from the COVID-19 emergency.
“Our local governments here at home have managed our COVID-19 response, and have done so while confronted with a shrinking tax base. Day in and day out, they have provided critical services to our communities throughout upstate, and the federal government cannot leave them behind. That’s why I am pleased to see the formula devised in my Direct Support for Communities Act included in the Heroes Act. The formula, which has both bipartisan and bicameral support, will ensure that every county, city, town and village in the country receives federal funding, regardless of size. These needed funds will support those providing essential services, from public health, to law enforcement, to firefighters, to teachers and beyond," said Delgado.
Under the Direct Support for Communities Act, local relief funding would be split 50/50, half committed to cities, towns and villages, and half committed to counties:
- Of the portion allocated for cities, towns, and villages, 70% would go to Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) entitlement communities using the CDBG formula through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to allocate the funding.
- The remaining 30% for cities, towns, and villages would be sent to states, which would be required to sub-allocate the entire amount within 30 days to all non-entitlement communities in the state based on population.
- The portion of emergency fiscal assistance for counties would be allocated across all counties based on population. The exception to that formula is that a current CDBG entitlement county would receive its entitlement amount if it is higher than what that county would receive under an allocation based on population.
Local governments would be able to use this federal relief to help address costs associated with lost revenues and response to the pandemic, in an effort to help avoid cuts to essential services and local tax and fee increases. The original funding in the CARES Act applied to 171 communities and excluded, at minimum, more than 25,000 small towns, cities and villages with populations under 500,000 residents.