PHOENIX—Rep. Greg Stanton and Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick today sent a letter to Gov. Doug Ducey urging him to allocate federal funds to local governments throughout Arizona that are struggling to cover the costs of coronavirus response efforts.
“Congress provided assistance to states through the Coronavirus Relief Fund, and Arizona was allocated more than $1.8 billion,” they wrote. “It is imperative a portion of these funds be allocated immediately to assist communities struggling to maintain vital services while they continue response efforts and work to safely reopen our economy.”
In total, five Arizona cities and counties received direct federal funds through the CARES Act—only those with populations greater than 500,000. Stanton and Kirkpatrick join a number of Arizona mayors in asking the governor to allocate resources to smaller local governments from the $1.86 billion state stabilization fund, which was created by the CARES Act. While larger municipalities have already begun to allocate their share of the funds to cover payroll costs for local public safety officers, assist small businesses, help families struggling to make ends meet and more, smaller communities have waited two months for funds to arrive.
Stanton and Kirkpatrick both represent districts that include local governments that received direct funding from the CARES Act—Maricopa County, Pima County, Phoenix, Mesa and Tucson—as well as neighboring cities and towns that were left to the state to distribute funds including Tempe, Chandler, Sierra Vista, Douglas, Cochise County and more.
The two Arizona representatives stressed that further delay in distribution puts smaller cities and towns at a long-term disadvantage and risks damaging the health of state and local economies.
“We urge you to immediately allocate resources to our communities on the frontlines of this crisis and need assistance now to survive,” they wrote. “Anything short of this will cause irreparable harm to our long-term recovery efforts.”
Stanton and Kirkpatrick’s letter is available here.