Schneider, Katko, Cox, King, DeGette Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Make States and Local Governments Eligible for Emergency Paid Leave Tax Credits

April 28, 2020
Press Release

Today, U.S. Representative Brad Schneider (D-IL) with U.S. Representatives John Katko (R-NY), TJ Cox, (D-CA), Peter T. King (R-NY), and Diana DeGette (D-CO) introduced bipartisan legislation to make states and local governments eligible for the emergency paid leave payroll tax credits, which would help state and local budgets stretched thin by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The second major coronavirus relief package passed by Congress in March 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, greatly expanded Americans’ access to paid leave by requiring public and many private employers to extend policies to their employees. The law included payroll tax credits to offset the costs associated with paid leave for private employers, however it excludes public employers from eligibility.

The Supporting State and Local Leaders Act, would remove this exclusion to help state and local governments cover the costs associated with paid leave programs. The legislation currently has 108 bipartisan co-sponsors.

“Our states and local communities are leaders in our fight against the coronavirus, and they are being stretched thin on the frontlines of this crisis. Congress has to do more to support them during this pandemic. Allowing public employers like state and local governments and public schools, utilities, and transit agencies to access the same payroll tax credits available to private businesses is a straightforward and bipartisan way to help our communities during this time of need,” said Schneider.

“Local governments have been at the forefront of our nation’s effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, providing critical services to those in-need, supporting our hospital and healthcare providers, and relaying important information to keep our communities safe and healthy. However, with an economic crisis slashing revenue for many local governments, our county governments and municipalities are suffering – and need relief now.  That’s why I am proud to join Reps. Schneider, Cox, King, and DeGette in introducing bipartisan legislation to make state and local governments eligible for emergency paid family and sick leave payroll tax credits. Providing these payroll tax credits to offset paid leave expenses will ensure local and state governments are able to protect employees and continue their work to serve our nation during this crisis,” said Katko.

“State and local governments are on the front lines of this pandemic.  I am proud to support this bipartisan legislation extending the emergency paid leave payroll tax credits—which are already available to the private sector—to public employers.  This important fix to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act puts public employers on par with the private sector and will free up more resources for state and local governments to provide the critical services necessary for successful COVID-19 response,” said Cox.

“Our state and local governments are at the frontlines of this public health crisis. We have to make sure they are getting the support they need,” said DeGette. “That includes making them eligible for the same emergency paid family and sick leave payroll tax credits that private sector employers can access.”

The Supporting State and Local Leaders Act is endorsed by: American Association of Universities, American Council on Education, American Federation of Teachers, American Library Association, American Public Transportation Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Government Finance Officers Association, International City/County Management Association, National Association of Clean Water Agencies, National Association of College and University Business Officers, National Association of Counties, National Association of Towns and Townships, National Conference of State Legislatures, National League of Cities, National School Boards Association, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, United States Conference of Mayors, 

“Our 3.6 million county employees are on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. These dedicated public servants support crucial county functions, including over 1,900 public health departments, nearly 1,000 hospitals, more than 800 long-term care facilities, 750 behavioral health centers and much more,” said National Association of Counties Executive Director Matthew Chase. “Our costs are skyrocketing, and our revenues are plummeting. We estimate more than $144 billion in budget impacts related to our coronavirus response. The emergency paid leave payroll tax credit would provide much-needed support to counties, and we thank Representatives Schneider, Katko, Cox, King and DeGette for recognizing counties’ role as key employers and service providers in our communities.”

“The National League of Cities applauds Representative Brad Schneider for his leadership in fighting for government employer coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Joe Buscaino, President, National League of Cities; President Pro Tempore, Los Angeles City Council. “Rep. Schneider’s work to amend the Families First Coronavirus Response Act so government employers will qualify for tax credits for providing paid sick and emergency family leave would be a much needed lift for America’s families and workers. We thank Representative Schneider’s office for working alongside local leaders on this important issue. Federal-local partnership is critical for the health and survival of America’s cities, towns and villages, now more than ever.”

Text of the legislation is available online.