Representative Tom Malinowski (D-NJ 7) is spearheading an effort to pressure Congress to pass legislation intended to provide financial relief to towns and cities with populations below 500,000. The bill H.R. 6467, the Coronavirus Community Relief Act, would provide $250 billion in relief funds. At the April 27, 2020 meeting of the New Providence Borough Council, Mayor Morgan announced that he had signed a letter provided by Representative Malinowski’s office in support of the bill. Mayor Morgan joined a number of Mayors, Republican and Democratic, throughout Union County who have signed the letter. A copy of the information provided for the agenda for the Borough Council meeting April 27th may be reviewed below.
Please find attached a letter Rep. Malinowski is organizing addressed to House and Senate leadership of both parties calling for dedicated municipal funding in the next CARES package expected to come up for a vote in early May. The intention is for the letter to be from the Mayors and County Freeholders in CD7 taking their case straight to Speaker Pelosi and Leader McConnell. Our hope is to submit several pages of signatories with this letter representing all 75 CD7 towns.
In addition to the letter which addresses the major concerns we have been hearing from municipal leaders, we encourage each of you to draft testimony unique to your towns outlining what you see as the dire consequences of not receiving these federal funds. Our office will send the letter and any supplemental testimony to House and Senate Leadership, submit your individual testimonies to be entered into the congressional record, and share all with local and national press.
Please let our Legislative Director, Eliza Ramirez (Eliza.Ramirez@mail.house.gov) know by Friday if you would like your name added to this letter and pass along any supplemental testimony you would like submitted.
The Congressman will continue his aggressive advocacy on this issue but hopes that hearing from you directly will highlight the extreme urgency and bipartisan nature of our request.
Scheduler/ Executive Assistant
Office of Congressman Tom Malinowski (NJ-07) 426 Cannon House Office Building
April 24, 2020
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Leader McConnell, and Leader Schumer:
We, the undersigned mayors and county officials in the 7th Congressional District of New Jersey, implore you to provide desperately needed funding for local governments, regardless of population size, in the next emergency coronavirus package.
Without targeted stabilization funding, our towns will be unable to continue providing critical services to our residents. New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District contains no localities with a population of or above 500,000 and are therefore ineligible for assistance under existing stimulus programs (in fact, we have no municipality with more than 50,000 residents). Our counties and towns have faced enormous costs while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including rapid activation and expansion of emergency services, transitioning to telework to ensure continuity of municipal services, overtime and hazard compensation for first responders, personal protective equipment, and more.
The coronavirus pandemic has not only increased costs for local governments, but as a result of necessary, life-saving steps to contain the spread, it has also contributed to a precipitous decline in municipal revenue streams, including but not limited to: property taxes, court fees, parking fees, energy tax receipts, UCC fees, and hotel occupancy fees. The combination of lower revenues and higher expenses is compounded by New Jersey’s requirement that municipalities balance our budgets. As a result, small towns in New Jersey will be forced to slash essential services, including public schools, police and fire departments, furlough or layoff municipal employees, or raise taxes on already overburdened residents.
We strongly urge you to include in any future Coronavirus relief package Congressman Malinowski’s bill, H.R. 6467, which would provide $250 billion in stabilization funds to localities with populations lower than 500,000. Under the Coronavirus Community Relief Act,
360 Elkwood Avenue ♦ New Providence ♦ NJ ♦ 07974 908-665-1400 ♦ 908-665-9272 (Fax) www.newprov.org
state and local governments with a population under 500,000 would be eligible for support to cover expenses attributable to the COVID-19 epidemic, including lost revenue.
We support this legislation and similar efforts that allow all municipal and county governments to seek assistance regardless of population size. We cannot rely on our state government, which is facing similar revenue shortfalls and increased expenses, to pass federal relief funds to municipalities. Only the federal government has the capacity to help states and local governments of all sizes from falling off a budgetary cliff.
Without your support for this proposal or others like it, our towns will find it increasingly difficult to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to implement responsible economic recovery initiatives. Small town America has been hit just as hard economically during this crisis as our metropolitan areas. It should receive proportionately the same level of relief.
Attached for your consideration are some individual testimonies from Mayors and county officials across New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District, detailing the unique burdens that managing a responsible COVID-19 response has placed on our municipal budgets.
Allen Morgan, Mayor