WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today Congressman Warren Davidson introduced H.R. 7094, The Flexibility for States and Localities Act.

This bill would allow states greater discretion over how to spend funds allocated to states through the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund that Congress created for states to address the novel coronavirus pandemic, within the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

As states and municipalities continue to respond to the public health needs of the coronavirus pandemic, it is clear that different states and regions have different fiscal needs when it comes to their response. Instead of passing another one-size-fits-all relief package that costs taxpayers billions, Davidson’s bill entrusts states to use the money they already have more effectively.

After introducing his bill, Congressman Davidson said, “I’m hopeful that this bill helps states bridge the gap as they grapple with the fiscal strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic. I know that Ohio’s needs differ greatly from other states and that governors and mayors across the country have a better read on the needs of their citizens than we do in Congress. This will be more efficient than allocating more money right away and can help us determine the best way to allocate more funds should the need arise.”

Ohio State Treasurer Robert Sprague endorsed the Flexibility for States and Localities Act, saying, “Before Congress considers spending trillions of more dollars through additional stimulus bills, it's imperative to ensure that the funds already appropriated are able to be accessed by our state and local government partners. By creating greater flexibility in how the CARES Act funds are used and distributed, Rep. Davidson's proposal aims to provide governments with the support they need during these trying times."

Ohio State Auditor Keith Faber also voiced support for the bill, “Our local governments were hit hard by the pandemic and will need budget stabilization for the revenue shortfalls to come. The State Auditor’s office is responsible for ensuring state and federal money are spent appropriately and support giving local governments greater flexibility in the allowable uses for this relief funding.”