Courtney Releases Projected Aid to Eastern Connecticut Cities and Towns Under American Rescue Plan Being Crafted in House
VERNON, CT – Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) today released projected allocations that towns and cities in Connecticut’s second Congressional district would receive under the American Rescue Plan, the next COVID-19 relief bill currently under bipartisan consideration in the House. According to current estimates, eastern CT local governments could at least $167 million through the new relief package, in addition to over $100 million in aid designated for counties that would be proportionately distributed.
“What I have heard directly from local leaders is that towns and cities in eastern Connecticut are struggling to manage the fallout from the fiscal and economic impact of the pandemic,” Courtney said. “The funding the House is proposing in the American Rescue Plan is a powerful tool to provide much-needed relief to our struggling local governments. The state and local funds, paired with the K-12 education funding I helped pass in committee last week, will ensure that that our towns are receiving the help they need to offset extreme and unpredictable budget deficits brought on by this pandemic. I will continue to work to pass this bill in the House without delay and ensure that this relief gets to our region as quickly as possible.”
Last week, the House Oversight Committee approved its portion of the larger relief package, which included $350 billion to help states and local governments with the fiscal and economic impact of the pandemic. According to projections by the committee, Connecticut could receive about $4 billion through the proposed bill, including about $2.7 billion to the state and $1.6 billion to cities and towns.
Eastern Connecticut cities and towns are projected to receive an estimated $167 million. Two municipalities, Norwich and New London, would each receive $20 million under the existing statutory designation as a “entitlement community” through the Community Development Block Grant, while all other towns would share $127 million in “non-entitlement” funds. Click here for a projection of allocations to non-entitlement local governments in CT-2.
These estimates reflect the current version of the bill and could be subject to any changes as the bill is considered in Congress and final calculations once it is implemented in law.
In addition, local governments could see additional funds set aside in the bill for counties. The second district included 6 counties. Of those, $104 million is projected for the region’s three full counties: $52 million New London county, $29 million for Tolland county and $23 million for Windham county. Towns in the district would also see proportional aid from funding allocated to the three partial counties: $174 million for Hartford County, $167 million for New Haven County and $32 million for Middlesex county.
The bill requires funds to be used to respond to or mitigate the public health emergency with respect to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19) or its negative economic impacts, cover costs incurred as a result of such emergency, replace revenue that was lost, delayed, or decreased (as determined based on revenue projections for the metropolitan city, non-entitlement unit of local government, or county as of January 27, 2020) as a result of such emergency; or address the negative economic impacts of such emergency. In addition, funds to non-entitlement communities “may not exceed the amount equal to 75 percent of the most recent budget for the non-entitlement unit of local government as of January 27, 2020.”
Last week, nine of the twelve House committees tasked with negotiating the new relief plan approved their portions of the bill, which along with the remaining three will be stitched together into one final bill that may be considered as soon as next week. Courtney and the House Education and Labor Committee approved their portion of the American Rescue Plan on February 10th. It would provide $130 billion in K-12 education aid to local school systems, $39 billion to help stabilize the childcare system, $40 billion for institutions of higher education and their students, and more.
On February 1st, Courtney announced more than $59 million in federal funding being directed to Connecticut schools to support the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency (ESSER) program. That new round of emergency funding was authorized by the Coronavirus Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 133), which Courtney and the Education and Labor Committee helped to negotiate. H.R. 133 also allocated an additional $12 million to the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System.
H.R. 133 came following the enactment of Rep. Courtney’s bill to protect federal Impact Aid funding for local public schools who serve high numbers of schoolchildren from military and Tribal Nations families. Click here to read more.