Hawaii Attorney General Clare E. Connors has joined a coalition of attorneys general nationwide urging Congress to extend the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economy (CARES) Act funding for another year as the pandemic rages on.
Connors is one of more than 45 attorneys general who signed a Nov. 30 letter by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller addressed to Congressional leaders, urging them to extend the deadline for the use of the funds from Dec. 30 of this year to at least Dec. 31, 2021.
The letter thanks Congress for the critical relief provided to communities, saying that COVID-19 has “impacted every facet of American society.”
Congress passed the CARES Act in March, providing more than $2 trillion in economic stimulus to state and local governments to deal with the impacts of the pandemic. One of the restrictions placed on the funding, however, limits the money’s use to expenses incurred between March 1 and Dec. 30, 2020.
With cases rising, and a record number of infections, however, the pandemic will continue to challenges communities well beyond the end of Dec. 30, the attorneys general said, and is a “deadline that now seems unreasonable.”
“The challenges created by this pandemic will continue well after December 31st.” said Connors in a news release. “Extending the deadline by a year will allow local governments to more thoughtfully and effectively respond to the crisis using the funding resources allocated by the federal government.”
The letter was signed by attorneys general of Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.