WASHINGTON – During the first week of the 117th Congress, U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado (D, NY-19) and Representative Lee Zeldin (NY-01) reintroduced their bipartisan Direct Support for Communities Act to ensure that every community, regardless of size, can access urgently needed COVID-19 relief funding from the federal government.
In March 2020, Congress passed the CARES Act, which provided $500 billion for communities with over 500,000 residents, meaning smaller towns and cities were unable to access desperately needed federal COVID-19 relief funding to help make ends meet.
In May of last year, to respond to the concerns of local communities, Delgado and Zeldin introduced a bipartisan plan – the Direct Support for Communities Act. The bill creates a funding mechanism that allows smaller communities direct access to federal funding.
Those funds would help prevent the layoffs of public health care workers, firefighters, police, sanitation workers, teachers and other vital public servants in New York, and ensure that all counties, cities, towns, and villages, regardless of size, have the financial resources needed to continue to provide these necessary services and to avoid local tax and fee increases that will put more burden on already cash-strapped families and businesses in this crisis.
The Direct Support for Communities Act was the formula adopted in both the Heroes and Updated Heroes Act, which the House passed in 2020.
Now, the congressmen re-introduced this legislation as their first bill of the 117th Congress. To mark this introduction, the congressmen joined local officials from New York’s 19th Congressional District and New York’s 1st Congressional District to discuss the urgency in getting the Direct Support for Communities Act signed into law.