Senator Helped Ensure American Rescue Plan Provided Assistance to Ohio Cities, Towns, Villages and Counties Amid Increased Expenditures and Revenue Losses Due to Pandemic
COLUMBUS, OH – April 13, 2021 – Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined a virtual event hosted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors Council on Metro Economies and the New American City to talk with a bipartisan group of Mayors from across Ohio and around the country on the direct support for local communities that he secured in the American Rescue Plan.
Brown helped ensure the recently-passed COVID rescue package included $350 billion in state and local funding to help states and municipalities across Ohio and helped introduce legislation that provided the vehicle for getting this funding directly to local communities.
“Over and over, I hear the same thing from communities large and small, rural and urban: they need more resources, and they need to be able to decide for themselves how to use them. Mayors, county commissioners, city council members, community leaders – you know your communities best, not politicians in Washington,” said Brown during the event.
Following passage of the American Rescue Plan, a bipartisan group of Ohio local elected officials praised the inclusion of direct support for local communities in the package. Read more HERE.
Brown has long called for increased funding and flexibility for local governments in Ohio amid the coronavirus pandemic. In December, Brown joined bipartisan legislation to extend the then-year-end deadline for states and local governments to use federal CARES Act assistance from the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The deadline was eventually extended in the year-end government funding package.
Brown’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery, can be found below.
Thank you, Mayor Ginther – Columbus is a model for Midwestern cities and mid-sized cities around the country. We’ve worked together for years to bring investment to Columbus.
And thanks to all of you on the call today.
I’ll be brief so we can get to questions – let me just start by talking a little about how I approach these issues, and about the wins for your cities in the American Rescue Plan.
My wife Connie and I live in Cleveland, in zip code 44105. That zip code had more foreclosures than any in the country in the first half of 2007.
We’ve seen how cities like ours too often get left on their own by Wall Street and Washington.
Cleveland was in trouble before the 2008 crash because of decades of bad trade policy and bad tax policy that shipped jobs overseas, and denied opportunity to whole swaths of the country.
And then we watched the biggest corporations and the biggest cities, while our zip codes got left behind again.
We are not making those same mistakes again.
The American Rescue Plan gets:
- Shots in arms
- Money in pockets
- Kids in Schools
- Workers in jobs
And it invests in the whole country.
The rescue plan includes direct, flexible funding to state and local governments, based on my Direct Support for Communities Act.
Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve spent a large portion of my time on virtual roundtables with leaders from communities all over the state.
Over and over, I hear the same thing from communities large and small, rural and urban: they need more resources, and they need to be able to decide for themselves how to use them.
Mayors, county commissioners, city council members, community leaders – you know your communities best, not politicians in Washington.
We made sure that communities can replace lost revenue, and prevent layoffs and service cuts.
And we ensured that all local governments can get funding directly – you won’t have to wait and hope to get funding passed through to you by the state government.
As we turn to infrastructure investment, we are going to continue to think about how we invest in the whole country – in places that have seen disinvestment for decades, and in places that have never had the investment they should.
That means housing and transportation and broadband and public schools. It means research and development, so we can compete with China in the industries of the future.
And these are all jobs that cannot be shipped overseas.
We have a unique opportunity to not just get through this emergency, but to build a stronger economy on the other side.
And I want to work with all of you to do that. Listening is one of the most important parts of my job, and as we put this package together, I’ll be in touch with Mayor Ginther and mayors from all over Ohio, Republican and Democrat.
One of the great things about mayors is you don’t tend to get in your partisan corners the way politicians in Washington can.
Last month, GE workers in Bucyrus, Ohio who make lightbulbs had their jobs outsourced to China. Even before that announcement, as we heard it might be happening, I was on the phone with the Republican mayor of Bucyrus, and we’ve been in constant communication since then, working every angle to try to figure out if there’s a way to save these jobs.
That’s the kind of practical, bipartisan work you all do every day to serve your cities. And I want to work with you to make that job easier.