Thursday, 23 July 2020 18:36

Brewer urges local congressmen to provide financial help to district

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ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County’s state representative is calling on two local congressmen to extend unemployment benefits as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Rep. Scott Brewer, D-Richmond, wrote a letter to U.S. Reps. Dan Bishop and Richard Hudson, both Republicans, requesting they “echo” Gov. Roy Cooper’s sentiments in a July 16 letter “and join him in urging Congress “to do more, as quickly as possible, to address the critical needs of our communities so we can protect the health and safety of our people while moving our state to a complete recovery.”

“Businesses across our state are hurting, and too many business owners have been forced to close their doors,” Brewer said in the letter. “Every day, my legislative office hears from constituents throughout our district who face unforeseen layoffs and furloughs.”

He said the expansion of federal unemployment benefits is “vital” to the economic well-being of N.C. residents.

The former judge thanked Congress for passing the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program, saying that many jobs were saved in Richmond, Montgomery and Stanly counties.

“Still, there is a great deal of work to do, particularly to mitigate layoffs, improve our unemployment system, and stabilize state and local government services,” Brewer said.

He added that rural areas, like those he and the two congressmen represent, are hurting the worst from a decrease in sales tax revenues.

He said the State Budget Office estimates that revenues will be $1.25 billion below prior expectations.

Brewer also mentioned the Richmond County Board of Commissioners’ controversial decision to change the method of sales tax distribution, which caused municipalities to forego employee raises and raise property tax rates.

“We do not know what the next few years will look like, but we know our local governments need immediate assistance to manage the fiscal consequences of the pandemic,” he said, asking Bishop and Hudson to advocate allocating funds to municipalities to help offset COVID-related costs.

(Brewer's full letter is attached as a PDF.)

Last modified on Thursday, 23 July 2020 18:40