Skip to comments.Lebanon County excluded from CARES funds; rules should have been followed: Gov. Wolf
Posted on 07/16/2020 1:10:04 PM PDT by lightman
The two out of three Lebanon County Commissioners who voted to reopen the county during the coronavirus pandemic before they got the directive from the state should have listened to the rules, Gov. Tom Wolf said at a press conference on Thursday.
The county is losing out on $13 million in federal funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act, according to a letter written by Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Karen Groh.
Approved by Congress in March, the act was passed to help ease the looming financial burden of businesses, nonprofits, and government entities from state-required shut down orders meant to flatten the novel coronavirus curve. Lebanon didnt wait for the governors administrations approval to reopen.
Lebanon County made the threat, I mean there were other counties that made the threat, but they actually didnt go through with it, Wolf said.
County governments are eligible to receive COVID-19 County Block Grant Program funding through the state department of Community and Economic Development. The latest update on federal funds to Lebanon County shows that there isnt any in the pipeline for the rest of the year.
U.S. Rep. Dan Meuser also supports the same efforts as Groh. He wrote a letter to Wolf on July 15 saying withholding available funds from Lebanon County is a contradiction of the acts purpose.
While Act 24 outlines that all counties shall receive formulaic funding based upon population, DCED added additional requirements requiring counties to follow all state-issued closure orders to guarantee eligibility, he wrote. This is in direct conflict with the legislative intent of the parameters of the County Relief Block Grant program.
All counties should stand to receive the financial support, Meuser wrote.
Sixty‐six of 67 counties have received their funding and are working quickly to infuse it into their local economies, helping thousands of businesses, non‐profits, municipalities, and more, Groh wrote. Lebanon County is the only one left in Pennsylvania that has not received the money as promised by the Federal Government.
State department of health officials said Lebanon County got ahead of Wolfs reopening strategy. They said that was evident in the number of increased cases reported there of people contracting COVID-19. Lebanon was among the last of Pennsylvanias 67 counties to be allowed to lift restrictions.
Wolfs message to the countys leaders, OK, then dont come say you want something from the state, uh, when you havent followed the rules. He also said it isnt punishment.
There are consequences, and these are the consequences, Wolf said. I think Im being consistent here.
But, Lebanons business community is pushing back.
This is an unacceptable exclusion of just one county, Groh wrote. This money, close to $13 million, is desperately needed to help our business community continue to recover and survive the ongoing restrictions and added costs to follow CDC guidelines. Tourism, small business, non‐profits, and more have been patiently waiting to apply for this grant money as announced by the state. To take that away is an unfair punishment.
She concluded: We implore you to reconsider this decision as Lebanon County deserves every right to provide this recovery funding as the other 66 counties in Pennsylvania.
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The PA folks I talked to last week have pretty much had their belly full of this POS. But who knows, maybe Pittsburg and Philly love this azzclown.
His last name is (D). The (D) family always wins in Philly and Pittsburgh. Overwhelmingly.
Note to Trump: This is why aid needs to bypass state capitals.
Note to PA’s other counties: Either you all hang together or, most assuredly, you will hang separately.
Trump should make an appearance in that county and sign an executive order on the federal money.... might lock up PA for him.
I think the aid COULD bypass the state capitals. Im pretty sure Lebanon County had the right to apply for the aid independently. If they didnt do it, its probably because they dont have the staff resources to get through a cumbersome application process.
You know, it’s 13 million (and all told, if I calculated it right, it’s about 63 million nationwide being withheld from ‘outlaw counties’) It might behoove the president to appeal to the American People to support those counties who are being punished for failing to be in lockstep with their state governments.
Heck, finding the funding probably wouldn’t take much more than a few phone calls. As well as lawyers ready to represent the various counties involved to get the money paid back when they win in court.
It’d be an incredible campaign stunt, bypassing obstructionist liberals who are punishing the people by withholding funds they’re entitled to.
‘course the worst part is that he’d have to assign a couple people just to make sure the money got to where it was supposed to.
Isn’t this like withholding federal funds from sanctuary cities? Which judges have ruled illegal.
I dont think these counties have much of a legal leg to stand on. Strings get attached to government funds all the time.
It’s my county and President Trump would be VERY welcome here!
Wolfs denial of the aid means Lebanon County doesnt have to follow any of the rules. Open for business.
‘The PA folks I talked to last week have pretty much had their belly full of this POS.’
nope; PA is full of cowards who will take whatever this ass dishes out, and then nod eagerly when he dishes out some more...lots of older nagging females in my area who think nothing of ratting people out...
Remember when the fed tried to hold funds from sanctuary states? Didnt a judge rule that illegal?
Considering the liberal load in the courthouse, I wouldn't guarantee a win, but there'd probably be a line of lawyers ready to go ask that question.
THAT SUREASHELL WILL GAIN HIM SOME VOTES NEXT ELECTION!
I’m in Centre and would be more than happy to take a ride and spend some money Lebanon County. Maybe some kind of open air festival weekend could happen?
Keep in mind that the aid is intended to help governments and companies deal with COVID-related closures. If a county ignored the state closure orders, wouldnt that mean (in theory) that it shouldnt need the money?
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