LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer spoke on MSNBC Sunday about the need for the federal government to provide direct, flexible support to local and state governments on the frontlines of fighting the COVID-19 virus.
Although the federal government has earmarked funding to reimburse cities for costs incurred in the fight against the virus, that money cannot be used for general operating expenses, at a time when cities across the country, including Louisville, are seeing significant losses of revenue as a result of a steep downturn in the economy.
Local governments “are where the rubber meets the road” in fighting the virus, while also providing services to citizens in need, and they are hurting, Fischer told MSNBC host Alex Witt.
A survey of cities released last week showed that because of this pandemic nearly every American city is seeing a precipitous drop in revenue. And without federal support, many will be forced to lay off employees and make cuts that will hurt public safety.
In Louisville, Fischer announced on Friday that 380 Metro Government employees are being furloughed due in part to the financial impact of COVID-19.
The mayor, who becomes president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in June, stressed his message on social media today, stating, “At this time when critical services are most essential, I, along with my fellow @usmayors, are calling on Congress and the Administration to make federal support available to local and state governments.”