Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined forces with a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general [representing 43 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories] to urge Congress to extend the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economy (CARES) Act funding until the end of 2021, according to a press release.
The coalition sent a letter today to Congress requesting members to extend the Dec. 30. deadline.
“The CARES Act has provided needed financial support to our communities during this particularly difficult period in our nation’s history, and given the current status of the pandemic, that assistance will be needed well into the new year,” Nessel said in the press release. “As our country continues to face the challenges presented by COVID-19, we must make every effort to work together toward recovery, and Congress has the opportunity to do exactly that by extending this deadline.”
With several pending measures, including bipartisan extension measures in both the House and Senate, the attorneys general are asking Congress to pass one of these measures to give states and local communities additional time to utilize the COVID-relief resources, the release added.
Because COVID-19 has negatively touched almost every aspect of American society, especially in Black and Brown communities. Due to the financial upheaval, this has caused, Congress passed the CARES Act in March. This gave more than $2 trillion in economic stimulus to state and local governments in an effort to combat the impacts of the pandemic, the release added.
One of the restrictions associated with the funding limits the money’s use to expenses incurred between March 1 and Dec. 30, the release added.
“This time frame likely made sense in late March when the CARES Act was passed, but we have learned a great deal about COVID-19 in the past seven months,” the letter states. “Among other things, we know that the pandemic will continue to challenge communities well beyond December 30, 2020 – a deadline that now seems unreasonable.”
As the pandemic continues to set record infections, states and local communities will continue to incur COVID-related expenses next year, the release stated. By extending the deadline, communities nationwide will be able to be more purposeful with the use of CARES Act funds, the attorneys general said.
In signing the letter, Nessel joins the attorneys general in: Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.