Buchanan Calls for New Eligibility Criteria for COVID-19 Relief Funds

Coconut Telegraph

SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING TUESDAY APR 28, 2020

Congressman Vern Buchanan today urged congressional leaders to lower the eligibility threshold for local governments to receive coronavirus assistance in any future legislation passed by Congress.

Under the CARES Act passed by Congress last month, a county or city must have at least 500,000 people to be eligible for financial assistance related to coronavirus. Manatee County has 403,000 people and the 4th highest number of deaths in Florida. Sarasota County has 433,000 people. Both are currently ineligible for coronavirus relief funds under the CARES Act passed last month by Congress.

“This arbitrary criteria of 500,000 residents disadvantages many local governments, including two of the three counties I represent," Buchanan said. "Both Sarasota and Manatee counties have been hit hard by coronavirus and are dealing with the health and economic impact caused by the virus. They deserve assistance just as much as any city or county that has 500,000 people.”

Hillsborough County, part of which is represented by Buchanan, has a population of 1.4 million so it qualifies for the aid.

Congress is currently considering another COVID-19 relief bill, and Buchanan said the change in eligibility should be included in that legislation.

“This should be a bipartisan issue because expanding the eligibility will help many people living in places just like Sarasota and Manatee counties and who are also struggling with the COVID-19 outbreak,” Buchanan said. “I will be contacting the House and Senate leadership of both parties urging that this change be made a part of the next coronavirus aid package to move through the Congress.”

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