Municipal workers in some of the most vital public-sector and frontline industries around the country are facing layoffs due to state funding deficits caused by the coronavirus, according to a report in The Washington Post.
Industries including police, firefighters, education, healthcare, and sanitation will all face dramatic reductions in their workforce: between 300,000 and 1 million temporary furloughs and permanent layoffs are expected nationally without fiscal intervention from the federal government.
Partisan politics have attempted to portray state budget woes as limited to liberal-leaning administrations, however “a Washington Post review found the economic havoc wrought by the novel coronavirus is far more widespread — saddling Democratic and Republican mayors and governors alike with souring finances and major revenue gaps. Some local governments have already started laying off or furloughing thousands of their workers,” the Post reports.
“[States] understand and know this would be a disaster if they didn’t get the kind of aid from the federal government they need,” said Lee Saunders, the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, whose union represents public-sector employees. “They need to be a priority just as the corporations and small businesses were [in previous aid packages].”
Read more about the layoffs facing public sector workers and how congressional aid can address the situation with funding for states here.