JLF Leads Effort to Ensure CARES Act Flexibility for States | Beaufort County Now

The John Locke Foundation is leading a national effort to highlight a critical flaw in the $2 trillion federal relief package tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. john locke foundation, leading efforts, CARES act, flexibility, states, april 14, 2020, cvd19
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

JLF Leads Effort to Ensure CARES Act Flexibility for States

Publisher's note: The author of this post is Mitch Kokai for the John Locke Foundation.

    The John Locke Foundation is leading a national effort to highlight a critical flaw in the $2 trillion federal relief package tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fixing the flaw could help state governments avoid unsustainable budget spending increases.

    Working with the Nebraska-based Platte Institute, JLF has drafted a letter to bipartisan congressional leaders. More than a dozen other state-based public policy think tanks from Maine to Nevada have signed on.

    The letter reads as follows:

    April 13, 2020

    The Honorable Mitch McConnell, Majority Leader
    U.S. Senate
    Washington, DC 20515

    The Honorable Charles Schumer, Majority Leader
    U.S. Senate
    Washington, DC 20515

    The Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    The Honorable Kevin McCarthy, Speaker of the House
    U.S. House of Representatives
    Washington, DC 20515

    The CARES Act established a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund to assist state and local governments combat the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic. Under the Act, each state will receive at least $1.25 billion plus an additional amount based on population, with a portion of the money allocated to local governments within the state.

    As written, however, the fund provides little actual relief for state budgets but instead all but compels them to devise new spending that can be attributed to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

    Congress needs to address this unintended outcome quickly by providing states and local governments the flexibility to use money from the Coronavirus Relief Fund 1) to offset lost tax and fee revenue that would otherwise have paid for ordinary operating expenses between March 1 and December 30, or 2) to provide one-time tax relief to individuals and businesses to revive the local economy.

    Unlike the federal government, most states and local governments must balance their budgets. New costs associated with the Coronavirus outside of Medicaid (covered by the Families First Act) and education (covered in the Education Stabilization Fund) would not come close to the full amount appropriated except through budgetary gluttony. Billions of dollars in tax and fee revenue, however, have been lost and cannot be recovered. We ask Congress to allow states the ability to use their Relief assistance in the most prudent and least disruptive way possible.

    Amy Cooke, CEO
    John Locke Foundation, North Carolina

    Jim Vokal, CEO
    Platte Institute, Nebraska

    Daniel Erspamer, CEO
    Pelican Institute, Louisiana

    Jonathan Small, President
    Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Oklahoma

    Donald Bryson, President
    Civitas Institute, North Carolina

    Christian Braunlich, President
    Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy, Virginia

    Matthew Gagnon, CEO
    Maine Policy Institute, Maine

    Jon Pritchett, President and CEO
    Mississippi Center for Public Policy, Mississippi

    Charles Mitchell, President and CEO
    Commonwealth Foundation, Pennsylvania

    Chris Ingstad, President
    Iowans for Tax Relief, Iowa

    Annette Meeks, CEO
    Freedom Foundation, Minnesota

    John Tsarpalas, President
    Nevada Policy Research Institute, Nevada

    Lynn Taylor, President
    Virginia Institute for Public Policy, Virginia

    Drew Cline, President
    Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy, New Hampshire

    Justin Owen, President and CEO
    Beacon Center of Tennessee

    Rick Larsen, President and CEO
    Sutherland Institute, Utah

    Bethany Marcum, Executive Director
    Alaska Policy Forum, Alaska

HbAD0

 
Back to Top