Forsyth County is getting substantially less in federal COVID-19 relief funds than other metro counties in the state. New legislation could help alleviate the disparity, but it faces an uphill climb.
The CARES program guidelines dictate that the federal government limits direct aid to counties with at least 500,000 residents.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports that while Guilford County will be allotted close to $94 million, Forsyth will receive $6.4 million.
House Bill 1144 aims to strengthen federal aid for Winston-Salem with a request for $30 million from CARES funding state legislators are currently holding in reserve.
Forsyth Democratic representatives Derwin Montgomery and Evelyn Terry introduced the bill. Montgomery says the Forsyth CARES funding is not enough to cover the needs of Winston-Salem and the rest of the county.
Republican Representative Donny Lambeth says the bill is a “nice political gesture,” but that it has no chance of passing in its current form.
Lambeth agrees that there is “no logic” to Winston-Salem getting less in relief funds than cities in more populated counties. He suggested the congressional delegation allocate available federal funds directly to the city.