April 2, 2020
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Trump:
On behalf of the nation’s governors, we write in support of the numerous requests for you to direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to waive all cost-share requirements for assistance, where authorized, under your Emergency Declaration and any superseding Major Disaster Declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
FEMA is authorized to increase the federal cost-share to 100 percent for emergency work, including Direct Federal Assistance “if warranted by the needs of a disaster” (44 CFR§ 206.47(d)). We believe that the unprecedented size, scale and duration of the COVID-19 impacts far exceed the response capabilities of the states and territories and warrants the full force and support of the federal government. Waiving the cost-share requirements will ensure that states and territories are able to adequately and rapidly respond to and support the American people.
This is also a crisis unlike any other. FEMA’s reimbursement process for disaster recovery is designed around rebuilding after widespread physical damage from a natural disaster, such as a hurricane. In this case, states are responding to an ongoing and evolving public health crisis. We need federal funding that is immediately accessible and flexible enough to address emerging needs for critical materials.
We appreciate the continued partnership of the administration and FEMA in ensuring that our response is locally-executed, state-managed and federally-supported.
Governor Larry Hogan, Chair
Governor Andrew Cuomo, Vice Chair