As Congress negotiates coronavirus aid funding, Governor Hogan and Governor Cuomo – the Chair and Vice Chair of the National Governors Association – have released a statement calling on the federal government to provide “immediate” and “unrestricted fiscal support” of at least $500 billion directly to the states.
Without this aid, “states will have to confront the prospect of significant reductions to critically important services all across this country, hampering public health, the economic recovery, and – in turn – our collective effort to get people back to work.”
“Governors across the country are leading the on-the-ground response to the national COVID-19 pandemic, implementing a variety of stay-at-home orders and other aggressive measures that are successfully flattening the curve of the spread of the virus. While these public health strategies are working to protect the American people, they result in catastrophic damage to state economies.
‘Despite this grave challenge, the recently passed federal CARES Act contained zero funding to offset these drastic state revenue shortfalls. To stabilize state budgets and to make sure states have the resources to battle the virus and provide the services the American people rely on, Congress must provide immediate fiscal assistance directly to all states.
‘We must be allowed to use any state stabilization funds for replacement of lost revenue, and these funds should not be tied to only COVID-19 related expenses. Congress must amend the CARES Act to allow this flexibility for existing federal funding.
‘Moreover, Congress must appropriate an additional $500 billion specifically for all states and territories to meet the states’ budgetary shortfalls that have resulted from this unprecedented public health crisis. This critical stabilization funding for states must be separate from much-needed fiscal stabilization for local governments.
‘In the absence of unrestricted fiscal support of at least $500 billion from the federal government, states will have to confront the prospect of significant reductions to critically important services all across this country, hampering public health, the economic recovery, and – in turn – our collective effort to get people back to work.”