Feb 12, 2021 - News
Rep. Axne wants local governments prioritized on COVID-19 relief
Rep. Cindy Axne during an interview in Washington, D.C. in 2019.
Rep. Cindy Axne during an interview in Washington, D.C. in 2019. Photo: Melissa Lyttle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The upcoming COVID-19 stimulus package is likely the last chance for Iowa's local governments to get federal relief, Rep. Cindy Axne (D) told Axios.

Why it matters: The state's cities and counties are losing millions in tax revenue and municipal fees, as everything from hotel bookings to park shelter rentals have dropped due to the pandemic.

The big picture: Des Moines city officials estimate COVID-19 cost them at least $25 million in revenue over FY 2021.

  • Stimulus money could cover lost income and soften additional expenses, like rental assistance, City Manager Scott Sanders told WOI-TV.

The state of play: House Democrats support $350 billion for states and municipalities, but Republicans say they don't want to reward poorly managed governments, according to PolitiFact.

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she expects the House bill to pass before the end of the month, CNBC reports.

What she's saying: Further negotiations are ahead as people anxiously await relief, but Axne said she will stand by including local aid.

  • "The fact that we haven't got it in any bill so far, to me, indicates that this really is the last time we're going to be able to focus on this and we've got to make sure it's a priority."

This story first appeared in the Axios Des Moines newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.


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