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Posts by Michael Leachman

States, Localities Need Federal Aid to Restore Jobs, Avoid More Layoffs

October 8, 2020

As President Trump sends mixed signals about his support for a new economic relief bill, states and localities urgently need additional fiscal aid so they can both rehire workers they laid off or furloughed this spring and avoid additional layoffs and budget cuts that they will likely otherwise make to balance their budgets this fiscal year.

After COVID-19 struck this spring, states and...

In Focus: State and Local Government Jobs Still Far Below Pre-COVID Levels

Senate Republican Relief Plan Ignores Needs of States, Schools

July 28, 2020

The Senate Republicans’ new economic relief plan contains no new fiscal aid for states and localities, whose revenues have collapsed due to COVID-19 and the resulting recession. Without that aid, they will continue laying off teachers and other workers and cutting services, which will hurt struggling families,...

Flag and Money

Senate Republicans Only Offer States Nearly Meaningless “Flexibility”

July 22, 2020

The Senate Republicans’ reported economic relief plan contains no new fiscal aid for states and localities, whose revenues have collapsed due to COVID-19 and the resulting recession. While the plan reportedly trumpets the added “flexibility” that it provides for states and the most...

Dollar and Columns

Senate Republicans’ Out-of-Touch Plan Would Pressure Schools to Reopen

July 21, 2020

Amidst an unprecedented state and local fiscal crisis, Senate Republicans reportedly may offer only one form of new federal fiscal aid to states and localities in the next...

Child at school sitting near classmates

Federal Aid for States, Localities Protects the Economy

July 2, 2020

As federal policymakers consider another package to address the deep economic downturn, one of the most effective steps would be to provide substantial federal grants to help states address their huge revenue shortfalls, as the House-passed Heroes Act would do. That would help states and localities avoid cuts in services and investments that would worsen racial inequities — as my colleague...

People waiting in physically distanced lines

Good Reasons Why States Haven’t Yet Spent All Coronavirus Relief Funds

June 25, 2020

Some wrongly argue that federal policymakers should “wait and see” before giving states more fiscal aid to help address their huge, recession-driven revenue shortfalls, in part because they haven’t spent all the aid they’ve received so far. States, however, have good reasons not to spend all of that aid just yet. And, in any case, they’ll need far more to address their extraordinary shortfalls...

Healthcare worker helping another put on their personal protective equipment

How Should States, Localities Spend CARES Act’s Coronavirus Relief Fund?

May 28, 2020

The CARES Act includes a $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to help states, populous cities and counties, tribal governments, and U.S. territories cover unanticipated costs from the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic effects. Working from Treasury Department...

Beds in field hospital

Projected State Shortfalls Grow as Economic Forecasts Worsen

May 20, 2020

June 15, 2020: We have updated our estimate of projected state shortfalls. Please see this paper for our new estimate.

As economic projections worsen, so do the likely state budget shortfalls from COVID-19’s economic...

In Focus: COVID-19 State Budget Shortfalls Could Be Largest on Record

Fiscal Relief Needed Now to Stop Massive State Job Loss From Becoming Permanent

May 15, 2020

The “wait and see” approach that Senator John Thune and some other Republicans recommend for providing more state and local fiscal relief is highly unwise. States and localities furloughed or laid off nearly a million workers last month, new...

In Focus: April’s 1 Million Furloughs, Layoffs Put Total State and Local Employment Lower Than After Great Recession