Washington, DC—With millions of jobs and the economic recovery at stake, the seven leading organizations representing state, territorial and local governments called on Congress to approve an aid package that would sustain vital services to Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
State and local governments employ nearly 15 million Americans, including teachers and professors, police officers and firefighters, healthcare workers and employees who maintain roads and mass transit, parks, libraries and essential infrastructure such as water and wastewater systems.
The pandemic affects every source of revenue for state, territorial and local governments, while sharply increasing costs for healthcare, emergency response and an historic surge in unemployment claims. The National Governors Association, Council of State Governments, National Conference of State Legislatures, National Association of Counties, National League of Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors and the International City/County Management Association noted that unlike the federal government, state and local governments must balance their budgets and cannot borrow money over the long term to fund continuing operations.
Many state and local governments are facing a June 30 deadline to adopt budgets. Without federal assistance, states, territories and local governments will be forced to make drastic cuts to the programs Americans depend on to provide economic security, educational opportunities and public safety, and the national economic recovery will be dramatically hampered.