States such as California are withholding federal funding from cities and counties, revealed in a recent report by the National League of Cities. To maintain local services during this pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act, which created the Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide $150 billion for states, territories, tribes and local governments.
Nearly two months later, the state is still sitting on approximately $9.5 billion of the approved $15.3 billion for California. Local municipalities still have not received the much-needed funding. Senator Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama), Vice Chair of the Senate Budget Committee who represents many Northern California counties, issued the following statement:
“These federal dollars must not be used as some kind of political leverage for reopening the local economy. The monies for local governments was clearly not intended to be used to balance California's state budget.
“Local governments provide essential services to Californians. These monies could be used to pay for police, fire, first responders and frontline healthcare workers during this pandemic. It is imperative that the federal relief monies be released to the intended entities.
“Delay, no matter the reason, is not acceptable.”