The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced its intention to shift its policy guidance on PPE reimbursements, creating confusion and imposing new administrative burdens on local and state governments.
In an August 25 Big 7 letter to FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor, ICMA, the National Governors Association, National Association of Counties, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Emergency Management Association, National League of Cities, The Council of State Governments, and The U.S. Conference of Mayors, called on FEMA to keep its current guidance on emergency protective measures and reiterated their standing request that FEMA waive the state cost share for COVID-19 assistance.
“We also understand that FEMA may seek to tie eligibility to an arbitrary distinction between “response” and “reopening.” This proposed change to PPE coverage continues a troubling pattern of shifting costs and responsibilities onto states and localities when they can least afford it. We hope the decision to shift the cost of providing PPE to states and localities is not due to the recent strain on the Disaster Relief Fund by the Lost Wages Assistance program,” the groups wrote.
“Shifting policy guidance in the middle of a pandemic is impractical, causes confusion, and disrupts operations in states and localities. It also imposes significant bureaucratic and administrative burdens on states during the auditing process at a time when state and local resources are critically strained.”