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The morning after the Senate announced that they would adjourn until September 8 without passing additional coronavirus relief, the New York Times reports that “states could face a gap of at least $555 billion through the 2022 fiscal year” if the federal government does not provide direct relief to relieve budget shortfalls.
State and local governments are facing massive budget shortfalls as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on the economy, forcing them to pay large unexpected health costs while their tax revenue plummets. Even as “economists warn that the long-term risk coming from struggling states could prove even more damaging this time than the recession of 2007-9,” Senator Tillis and Mitch McConnell have refused to take action to support them. Without support, local governments are struggling to continue to provide necessary public services and keep critical workers on the payroll.
Yesterday, in response to the president’s executive orders that would tap funds from disaster relief, Cal Cunningham met with coastal leaders about what they are seeing in their towns without the help from the federal government. In an interview with FOX46, he said of his conversation with Shallotte Mayor Walter Eccard: “He’s having a hard time, just as a lot of local governments are having a hard time, keeping first responders on the payroll making sure that the trash trucks roll.”
Cal continues to make relief for North Carolina communities a key priority for the next COVID-19 aid package, in addition to extending enhanced unemployment benefits, providing resources for schools, and passing a Medicaid expansion incentive. He has called on Senator Tillis to take immediate action: “This is not the answer that North Carolinians need. We need Congress to act, and quite disappointingly the U.S. Senate has just packed up shop, and is not planning to come back until September 8. Thom Tillis said he was not going to leave Washington until a new relief package was done. That’s just what he’s done. He’s come home.”
New York Times: State and Local Budget Pain Looms Over Economy’s Future
By Jeanna Smialek, Alan Rappeport and Emily Cochrane – Aug. 14, 2020
By Brien Blakely – Aug. 14, 2020