COVID-19 National Update
Key information from March 24 NACo briefing
The work continues on federal legislation to extend cash and loans to Americans and U.S. businesses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the National Association of Counties reported via a briefing call today (March 24).

As of mid-afternoon, the federal situation was as follows:

Third supplemental

  • The Senate is taking the lead on the largest package ($1.6 trillion to $1.8 trillion) to date
  • NACo continues to advise that counties have multi-billion-dollar issues developing
  • Within the bill would be a state stabilization fund ($150 billion) to direct federal aid to the states (at request of National Governors Association)
  • NACo has asked for assurances that counties have direct access as well (unknown dollar amount and specific eligibility, but push is to ensure local units get aid as states do)

On municipal tax and bonding

  • Rate notes, borrowing cost skyrocketed, from .06 % to 10-11%
  • This market is essentially frozen and will be long-term cash flow issue
  • Senate introduced bipartisan bill to allow fed reserve new authority to help buy   bonds and get the markets working again (Huge need on capital front)

On paid sick leave

  • Public sector prohibited from receiving tax credits (private/public fairness issue)

Other issues

  • Transportation/Medicaid DISH payments delayed

The Senate hopes to negotiate final deal today, and vote today (potentially tomorrow).

If not, House (Speaker Pelosi) proposed a package, but Pelosi supports the Senate getting a deal.

NACo’s current federal policy priorities

  • Ensure policymakers understand the role of counties
  • We fund 1,900 LPH authorities; own more than 1,000 hospitals and 600 nursing homes; responsible for jail inmates; safety net functions (children, seniors, veterans).
  • Ensure counties are always eligible to access federal assistance funds
  • Testing and better data needed; ensure counties have access to test equipment and data
  • Pushing with other groups for more PPE
  • Gain clarity around current stockpile on medical supplies
  • Price controls and regulations on hoarding

Assisting NACo

Please use the for advocacy efforts and communicate with your peers on it

Please keep sending budget impact data to for media and congressional use