U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Holly) on April 2, 2020, held her third COVID-19 needs assessment call with 8th District county, municipal and community leaders, updating them on efforts to acquire medical supplies for district hospitals and her advocacy for additional federal financial support to local communities in federal COVID-19 response.
Slotkin briefed more than 70 officials from Livingston, Ingham, and Oakland counties on her priorities for additional economic recovery legislation Congress may consider: Significant infrastructure spending, financial stability assistance for local governments, and filling a gap in previous recovery efforts that omitted young adults such as college students from direct stimulus payments to families.
Municipal, county and state government leaders from across the district expressed their support for additional financial assistance to local governments; sought guidance on how to help unemployed workers and small businesses access federal support; and discussed efforts in their communities to find sources of personal protective equipment for health care workers and first responders.
“This is a time that has really stretched what it means to be a community leader, and I am so grateful for the efforts these leaders are making to serve their constituents,” Slotkin said. “As I said during the call, this is a time to put politics aside and just get the work done, and these leaders are doing exactly that. Their input and guidance is invaluable to me as I work with congressional colleagues to address this crisis.”
Among Slotkin’s biggest priorities is addressing the need for financial support to local governments. The CARES Act enacted on March 27, 2020, includes nearly $340 billion in financial assistance for state and local governments whose budgets have been devastated by the COVID-19 crisis. But the assistance is limited to local governments representing at least 500,000 residents, despite the fact that many local governments are struggling with COVID-19 costs and loss of revenue.
Slotkin is urging congressional leaders to remedy that gap. She joined a letter to Congressional leadership advocating for assistance for those local governments in additional economic recovery legislation.
Slotkin also urged local governments to apply for additional funding in Community Development Block Grants, which received additional funding in the CARES Act.
Slotkin also discussed her efforts to remedy a CARES Act gap affecting young adults. Under the law, families received a $500 direct payment for each dependent child under age 18. But those over 18 who remain dependents of their parents –– college students, for example –– do not qualify for the $500 payment, nor are they eligible for the $1,200 payment that individual Americans are to receive.