Denver—The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) commends President Donald Trump and the U.S. Congress for appropriating $8.3 billion to address the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.
Since state and local governments are the first line of defense against public health emergencies, these additional resources will assist state and local health departments to respond to the crisis.
COVID-19 is proving to be a unique medical, economic and social disrupter. States are absorbing unplanned and, at this point, unknown costs as they work to control the spread of the virus and state legislatures across the country are joining Congress by taking actions to address the issue in their own states.
Washington state lawmakers approved $8.6 million for activities related to coronavirus. The New York Assembly approved $40 million this week for the state’s department of health to respond to the virus. Legislation has been approved in Massachusetts and Illinois, and the states of Hawaii, Minnesota and Utah are considering legislation related to the virus.
State legislatures take their role to protect the public seriously and will continue to monitor the situation and take necessary actions. We will continue to work with federal partners as the pandemic continues to unfold. NCSL appreciates federal efforts to assist states in addressing coronavirus.
NCSL is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system.