The most recent coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress includes assistance for small businesses and aid for hospitals and testing. This is critical funding. Our state is nearing a recession and suffering caused by the coronavirus continues to grow. But this bill has a significant omission: additional aid for states and localities to address unprecedented budget shortfalls.
Florida’s Legislature passed a $93.2 billion budget in March, which included long-awaited investments in teacher pay, affordable housing, and conservation. Without additional federal government aid, these areas, among many others, hang in the balance.
Gov. Ron DeSantis and our powerful congressional delegation must advocate for additional fiscal relief. While the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) included in the federal CARES act, along with other federal aid, are important first steps toward addressing the COVID-19 crisis, they should not be the last. Notably, the Treasury Department confirmed that the CRF can’t be used to make up for lost revenue.