Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik is introducing the bipartisan State and Municipal Assistance for Recovery and Transition (SMART) Fund, legislation that would provide support to state and local governments in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill will provide $500 billion in emergency funding to every state, county and community in the country, while prioritizing assistance to the areas with the greatest need. After a $16 billion set-aside for Native American tribal governments, the remaining funding would be allocated to states through three equally divided tranches, based on population size, infection rates, and revenue losses. The additional federal support eliminates the current 500,000 resident population threshold, allowing every state, county, municipality, U.S. territory and the District of Columbia to qualify for direct federal assistance, regardless of its size. Companion legislation will be introduced by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) in the Senate.
“Our North Country communities have been working diligently to address this public health crisis, and they need help,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “I have spoken with local elected officials from across the district, many of whom have faced severe revenue shortages as a result of the shutdown. The SMART Fund will provide direct, flexible assistance to our local governments and municipalities to help them get back on their feet. I will continue to work with my colleagues in a bipartisan fashion in order to ensure that our communities continue to receive critical support throughout this crisis and beyond.”