L.A. County cities plead for share of federal assistance as coronavirus slams budgets

A coalition of more than two dozen Los Angeles County cities have requested the county and city of Los Angeles redistribute $1.8 billion in federal funding assistance they received to help the 87 other municipalities balance their budgets in the wake of the fiscal gut punch-caused by the coronavirus pandemic-spurred Safer at Home orders.

Carson Mayor Al Robles organized the diverse group of 28 communities and sent a letter Tuesday morning via email to city and county elected officials asking for immediate help as local governments frantically revise their budgets for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

He observed that the Los Angeles Lakers had returned federal assistance when it became apparent small businesses were missing out on financial help and implored the county and city of Los Angeles to do the same for smaller jurisdictions.

“Follow the example of the L.A. Lakers and show leadership,” Robles urged via email to the Southern California News Group.

“Do not compound the stupidity of Washington, D.C. by being selfish and fixating on divisions the coronavirus does not recognize,” he added. “This is an opportunity to show how L.A. County, the city of Los Angeles and the other cities can work together for the greater L.A. area, rather than highlighting how the current local governance system is broken and dysfunctional.”

The federal assistance to Los Angeles and the county, the letter observed, was generated in part by tax revenues from the smaller communities.

“If we are all in this together as you have stated, and the pandemic impact and costs are shared, then the financial assistance received must likewise be shared,” the letter reads in part. “Demonstrate to all residents by action, not words, that irrespective of what city or unincorporated area you may reside in, we truly are all in this together.”

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“This does seem unfair,” South Bay Supervisor Janice Hahn, a former L.A. City Council, said in a statement. “While the county and its Public Health Department is fighting the lion’s share of the battle against COVID-19 and is expecting a $2 billion hit from the virus, cities are in this war too and deserve their fair share of these federal dollars.

“This is an issue with the federal funding formula, and I urge our LA County Congressional Delegation to make this fix at the federal level,” she added.

Both the county and city of Los Angeles have significant financial woes related to the pandemic, too.

The county is grappling …read more

Source:: Dailynews – News


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