May 21, 2020

Treasury Secretary Confirms To Manchin COVID-19 Funds Can Be Shared With Local Governments

Washington, DC – After continuing to hear from concerned local leaders across West Virginia, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) spoke with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin today about COVID-19 pandemic relief funding for West Virginia and received confirmation that the funding can be shared with state and local governments to cover salaries and benefits for employees responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Today I had a productive call with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin regarding the Coronavirus relief fund money Congress sent to the states over a month ago in the CARES Act to assist Governors as they work with county and local officials to battle this terrible pandemic. In our call, Secretary Mnuchin made it clear that their agency guidance never intended to leave any frontline workers behind. Secretary Mnuchin made it explicitly clear that Treasury guidance allows states to allocate funds to local governments to cover eligible salaries and benefits of public safety, public health, and similar employees who are substantially dedicated to mitigating or responding to the COVID-19 public health emergency from March 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020. I again urge the state to distribute a portion of the $1.25 billion it has received from Congress through the CARES Act to cover these eligible expenses for West Virginians before it is too late, and to do this without burdening local governments with additional bureaucratic hurdles. I will continue to work with state and federal leaders on additional flexibility to address revenue shortfalls, but we must get our municipalities and counties the resources they need today as they face tough financial decisions which could possibly cut essential services which all West Virginians rely on.”