AG Urges Congress to Pass Extension for CARES Act Funding as Pandemic Impacts Economy

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Attorney General Aaron M. Frey has joined the bipartisan coalition of attorneys general representing 43 states, the District of Columbia and 5 US territories, urging Congress to extend the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economy (CARES) Act funding until the end of 2021.

The effort is being led by Ohio Attorney General David Yost and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, who wrote the letter signed by Attorneys General and sent to the Congress November 30 urging members to extend the December 30, 2020 deadline.

“Individuals, businesses and communities across Maine are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative economic impact,” said Frey.  “States like Maine which are undertaking necessary measures to protect public health and combat COVID-19 need the assistance provided in the CARES Act in order to ensure that vital services may continue to be provided.  At a minimum, Congress should act with all deliberate haste to extend the CARES Act,” according to a press release issued by Attorney General Frey’s office on November 30, 2020.

One of the restrictions placed on the funding, however, limits the money’s use to expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020.  “This time frame likely made sense in late March when the CARES Act was passed, but we have learned a great deal about COVID-19 in the past seven months,” the letter states.  “Among other things, we know that the pandemic will continue to challenge communities well beyond December 30, 2020 – a deadline that now seems unreasonable.”

Attorney General Frey, of Bangor, was elected by a joint convention of the Maine Legislature to a second two-year term as Maine’s 58th Attorney General.  “I am honored that the Legislature has placed their trust in me to continue serving as Maine’s Attorney General.  It has been a privilege to work with the attorneys and staff in the Office of the Attorney General who work tirelessly on behalf of the people of our state to ensure that Maine benefits from the highest caliber of legal representation.”