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Message from Cal Cities Executive Director on federal relief package announcement for state and local governments

February 10, 2021
Dear California City Leaders,

Some good news for cities out of Washington, D.C.!
Last night, the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee released draft legislation that includes $350 billion in emergency relief for state and local governments. The draft meets Cal Cities’ strategic advocacy goal of delivering direct and flexible federal resources for pandemic response and recovery for cities of all sizes. In addition, there is no minimum population requirement, and the funding can be used to replace lost revenue, which is a first!  
Thank you and all of our members who joined Cal Cities in urging congressional leadership to take swift and urgent action on comprehensive coronavirus relief legislation that includes direct and flexible funding for all cities. 

This is also the message Cal Cities President Cheryl Viegas Walker and I delivered to former Cal Cities president and now Senator Alex Padilla, and representatives from Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressman Juan Vargas’ offices when we met with them last week. 
The pandemic is not over, and our cities have been waiting for months to receive meaningful aid from the state and federal governments. This proposal is a first step towards securing the federal funds needed to continue our efforts on the front line fighting this pandemic and helping our communities recover from it. 
Cal Cities will continue the push to ensure the passage of this proposal in the Committee markup later this week and beyond. We recognize that more is needed and will also continue to push for state resources to help cities respond and recover from this pandemic. 
Next Steps
The bill text and markup memo for House Oversight and Reform Committee for state and local emergency relief can be found here. The Committee will vote on the draft this Friday starting at 12 p.m. Following passage, it will be delivered to the House Budget Committee to be assembled into the broader emergency aid package.
Other sections of the aid package that are likely to get committee votes this Friday include the transportation assistance section and the housing assistance section, both of which have Cal Cities’ support.
Several California House members sit on the House Oversight and Reform Committee (chart below). Cal Cities will be reaching out to them to indicate our support for the bill they will be marking up on Friday. We will also be coordinating with California city officials with members on these committees and urging them to reach out as well. 
Thank you!  
Carolyn M. Coleman
Executive Director and CEO
League of California Cities

Key Provisions of the House Committee Proposal
Main points for municipalities: 
  • $350 billion in total for all municipalities, counties, states, tribes, and territories. Of that amount:
    • $130 billion is set-aside for local governments, equally divided between municipalities and counties.
    • The $65 billion for municipalities will be allocated to all 19,000 municipalities according to a modified Community Development Block Grant formula. Under that formula:
      • $45.5 billion will be split among all municipalities that are designated CDBG entitlement cities (generally cities with populations above 50,000 residents)
      • $19.5 billion will be split among cities not designated CDBG entitlement cities (generally cities with populations below 50,000 residents)
Of the remaining funds:
  • $195 billion for states and the District of Columbia
  • $65 billion for counties
  • $20 billion for tribes
  • $4.5 billion for territories
Additional details:
  • No deadline for spending down funds
  • Eligible expenditures will include replacement of lost revenue
  • The U.S. Treasury Department will allocate funds in similar fashion to CDBG.
    • Funding for CDBG entitlement cities (generally above 50,000 residents) will be determined by the CDBG formula.
    • Funding for non-entitlement cities (generally below 50,000 residents) will be allocated based on population.
CA Members on the House Oversight and Reform Committee
First Name Last Name State District
Mark DeSaulnier CA 11
Jimmy Gomez CA 34
Ro Khanna CA 17
Katie Porter CA 45
Jackie Speier CA 14

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