These fact sheets are joint publications between the Center for American Progress; the American Federation of Teachers; the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; the Economic Policy Institute; the National Education Association; and the Service Employees International Union.
The coronavirus pandemic and resulting recession are wreaking havoc on the United States. Both state and local governments are facing massive budget shortfalls resulting from the economic downturn, which will significantly affect their ability to provide crucial services. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that the collective state budget shortfall will be $615 billion from fiscal years 2020 to 2022, while the National League of Cities reckons that cities, towns, and villages are facing a $360 billion budget shortfall over the same time period. The picture is already bleak: From when the pandemic started in February to May, 1.5 million government employees have been laid off.
As the recession stretches into the second half of 2020, it is becoming increasingly clear that the states and localities that are at the forefront of combating the pandemic and its economic fallout are in serious need of help. To assist in easing the financial pressures that these government entities are currently facing, it is imperative that the federal government pass legislation to:
- Allocate at least $915 billion in direct grants to states, localities, tribes, and territories.
- Increase the Federal Medicaid Assistance Percentage (FMAP) by at least 14 percentage points until June 30, 2021.
- Provide at least $90 billion to the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund to support both public schools and public colleges and universities.
The recent resurgence of the virus only compounds the urgency of acting and should dispel all complacency. Congress must act to get states and localities the aid they desperately need.
The following fact sheets provide an in-depth look at how the coronavirus crisis is affecting each state and the cost of federal inaction.
Ryan Zamarripa is the associate director of Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress.