Jefferson County urges federal compromise to prevent cuts and layoffs

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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — Jefferson County has urged Congress and the President to compromise on a coronavirus relief bill following the introduction of the HEALS Act.

Jefferson County Board Chairman Scott Gray has asked that this aid will be direct and unrestricted to states and counties.

The aid will help prevent cuts throughout the County. It will additionally help administer a variety of social services for Jefferson County.

Social services that would rely on this funding include childcare for first responders, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Home Energy Assistance Program, child support, child welfare services, and substance abuse prevention services.

According to Gray, without federal aid to fill loss of revenue, counties would also be incapable of funding programs to keep the pandemic under control. This includes testing, tracing and emergency response.

“Local governments are teetering on the edge of a fiscal cliff as demands for services rise and economic activity is at a standstill,” said Chairman Gray. “With COVID-19 cases rising around the nation and the economy struggling to get back on tracks, now is not the time to be cutting services, jobs or limiting the capacity of our frontline workers to keep the virus in check.”

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