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Posts by Michael Leachman

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

As economic projections worsen, so do the likely state budget shortfalls from COVID-19’s economic fallout. We now project shortfalls of $765 billion over three years, based on the new projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) of yesterday and Goldman Sachs of last...

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

Contrary to Arguments, States Need More Federal Relief

May 6, 2020

South Dakota’s Governor Kristi Noem says her state doesn’t need more federal fiscal relief; it just needs the Treasury Department to let it use previously provided relief funds to cover revenue shortfalls. The argument apparently has gained traction among some...

Flag and Money

Red, Blue States Alike Need More Federal Support

May 4, 2020

States will need more fiscal relief to avoid having to make deep budget cuts to meet their balanced-budget requirements, which would hurt families and communities while worsening the recession.

Michigan Senate Chamber

New CBO Projections Suggest Even Bigger State Shortfalls

April 29, 2020

May 21, 2020: We have updated our estimate of projected state shortfalls. Please see this post for our new estimate.

State budget shortfalls from COVID-19’s economic fallout could total $650 billion over three years, we estimate based on new...

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

McConnell Argument Against State Fiscal Relief Doesn’t Stand Up

April 23, 2020

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell defends his opposition to more fiscal relief for state and local governments by arguing that it would just “bail out” states that have mismanaged their finances, particularly their state employee pension systems. That’s far off base. In reality, states would...

U.S. Map

Trump’s Budget Threatens States and Their Residents

February 12, 2020

President Trump’s 2021 budget would slice federal aid to state and local governments that provides health care, K-12 education, and more.

Large federal aid cuts would do lots of damage in states. Federal grants provide roughly 30 percent of state budgets across the country...

Flag and Money

This MLK Day, Let’s Remember the Links Between Racial Justice and State Tax Policy

January 16, 2020

While Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is best known for his inspirational leadership in bringing down legal barriers to civil rights for Black Americans and other people of color, he also emphasized the need to reduce poverty and expand opportunity to achieve true racial justice. This MLK Day, we would do well to remember that state tax codes are a critical lever for policymakers not only to...

Wealthiest 10 Percent of White Households Own Two-Thirds of U.S. Wealth

As School Year Begins, Time for States to Invest in Schools

August 22, 2019

As children across the country begin a new school year, their schools’ facilities and equipment aren’t as modern as they should be, due to sharp cuts in state funding for school capital projects over the past decade. As a share of the economy, state capital funding for schools — for example, to build new schools, renovate and expand facilities, and install more modern technologies — was still...

Child reading book at table in school library