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Singleton Introduces Legislation to Ease Financial Burdens on Local Governments During COVID-19

Proposal allows counties, municipalities to borrow to cover shortfalls resulting from pandemic through issuance of ‘coronavirus relief bonds’

Trenton – Senator Troy Singleton is introducing legislation today that seeks to alleviate the financial pressures on counties and municipalities during the current public health emergency. The bill would permit local governments to issue “coronavirus relief bonds” to cover revenue shortfalls during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“COVID-19 is not only a public health emergency, but it has quickly become an economic emergency as well,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington). “Local governments are feeling budgetary pressure resulting from lost revenues and emergency spending related to their COVID-19 response. This proposal, modeled after the existing Fiscal Year Adjustment Bonding Program, will allow counties and municipalities to continue to service their communities at high levels without the fear of economic disaster.”

The proposal seeks to provide relief for counties and municipalities that are facing budgetary challenges resulting from the effects of the pandemic. It would allow local units to borrow, through the issuance of long-term bonds or short-term notes, to cover the revenue shortfalls and additional costs attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill would establish a new financing mechanism to enable local units to borrow money to address the costs attributable to increased expenses and revenue shortfalls due to the pandemic, and to pay back that money over a 10-year period.

Specifically, a local government that has lost revenue, unanticipated expenses, or both, which are directly attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic may authorize and issue “coronavirus relief bonds.”