For Immediate Release:
Friday, July 17, 2020
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today led a group of members of the North Carolina Council of State in urging North Carolina’s delegation in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to approve federal funds to help states, local governments, business, and people to recover and rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“North Carolinians are struggling at every level,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “We need relief for our schools, for businesses that are struggling, for people who have lost their jobs and access to health care. We also need relief for state and local governments that provide needed programs and infrastructure. I led this letter to ensure that our Congressional delegation understands how dire these needs are. I look forward to working alongside them to get this essential relief to North Carolinians.”
From the letter:
“Many of our local governments are financially overburdened and require flexibility to make-up for COVID-19 revenue losses. They need additional resources to provide personal protective equipment for our first responders, healthcare providers, and educators. They also need assistance to address aging water and sewer infrastructure. National estimates are that states will see hundreds of billions of dollars in lost tax revenues over the next two years at the same time their health care expenses will explode due to COVID-19. Local governments will also be hit hard. There have been well more than a million public sector jobs lost to this crisis nationally.
“A key part of our recovery is reopening our schools, but reopening has to be done in a way that ensures the safety of our students, teachers, and staff. Too many of our school system budgets were already stressed. Without additional resources, they will not have the ability to purchase the essential cleaning supplies and other materials to create a safe and productive learning environment. Flexible federal aid funding would help ensure schools can address the wide variety of needs around sanitation, personal protective equipment, and nutrition for students. The ability to address these needs would facilitate and catalyze a safe reopening allowing our kids to get back into the classroom as quickly and safely as possible.”
In addition to Attorney General Josh Stein, the letter was signed by Gov. Roy Cooper, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, and State Auditor Beth Wood.