It is clear to me, as a city councilor in Biddeford, that municipal and state governments are battling COVID-19 with inadequate federal leadership and insufficient federal financial support. We face unknown expenses as the pandemic unfolds, in addition to increases in the cost of emergency medical services and aid to our citizens who are now in dire financial straits. Simultaneously, we are experiencing a significant drop in revenue due to the crisis.

The federal government, because of its size and the strength of the American economy on the world stage, is clearly best positioned to create the financial scaffolding that might support smaller governments. Shoring up municipal and state revenues now through federal programs will be the most cost-effective way for the country to weather this. Yet, after calling upon the federal government to provide some sort of relief, we are still waiting for federal support.

In times of crisis, federal leaders of both parties should be able to come together to fund state and local governments. Partisanship has no place in crisis. COVID-19’s fallout will affect all states, not just those that vote Republican in presidential elections. Congress must come together to pass something now. Local governments – of all parties – should not be left to shoulder this burden alone.

Amy Clearwater


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