Senator Bill Cassidy introduces $500 billion SMART Act for COVID-19 fight

State News

OUACHITA PARISH, La (05/19/20) — The $500 billion state and municipal assistance for recovery and transition or smart act is a bill meant to deliver federal resources to communities fighting COVID-19.

“A bill that would give state and local governments support during this hard time,” said Senator Bill Cassidy, (R) Louisiana.

Senator Cassidy says it’s estimated that nationwide states would be out about $300 billion dollars over the next 27 months for lost revenue.

“We assumed about 500 billion would add on the local governments upon that which the state had lost. So we picked 500 billion as the means by which we did it,” said Cassidy.

If the bill passes, it would roll out in three parts.

“One tranche goes out right now based upon population, so that could go out today, helping states with their current budget crisis. The second of the three tranches goes out based upon the impact coronavirus had on the health, the physical health on your state. That would go out at the end of June after this wave of infection has hit everybody it’s going to hit. The third tranche would go out at the end of the year. That would be based upon the financial impact that coronavirus has had on the community,” said Cassidy.

Cassidy says the SMART fund targets funding to areas of greatest need based upon infection rates and revenue losses. He says the next step for the act is to pass legislation and if it passes, it will move forward from there to start part one of the bill.

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