Portland, OR—Governor Kate Brown issued the following statement today following new guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department that restricts how states can use funds from the federal CARES Act:
“Because of the sacrifices states have made to stem the spread of COVID-19, our economy and state revenues have taken a significant hit. It is a blatant disregard of the challenges states are facing and the reality of the economy for the U.S. Treasury to prohibit the use of CARES Act funds for state revenue shortfalls. Without this flexibility, cuts to vital state services during this public health crisis will result,” said Governor Brown.
“Oregon is among the states on the front lines taking the necessary steps to protect the health of Americans amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Those steps have not been easy, and have required great sacrifices by Oregonians, but they are working. Our estimates show that in Oregon alone—through social distancing—we have prevented as many as 70,000 COVID-19 cases and 1,500 hospitalizations.
“I am deeply appreciative of the leadership Senators Wyden and Merkley have shown in fighting for federal resources for Oregon, and for our entire congressional delegation’s efforts in securing this essential relief. I will continue to advocate for changes to federal guidance that will allow states to use CARES Act funding to supplement lost revenue, or for additional funding sources that could be used in this way. Without these critical dollars, the state will be forced to make difficult budget cuts at a time when Oregonians need state services more than ever.”