Governors are pressing for new funding in order to meet state budgetary shortfalls as a result of the coronavirus, and are hoping it will be included in the upcoming congressional coronavirus stimulus bill, according to a report in The CT Mirror.
“States are facing budgetary shortfalls due to the far-reaching and unprecedented impact from the coronavirus,” tweeted Connecticut governor Ned Lamont. “Congress must allocate funding to help states continue the fight while ensuring they can remain financially stable.”
In addition to new funding, states are seeking more flexibility with the use of existing funding which was granted as a part of the CARES Act. That funding, around $150 billion in total, was restricted to costs that are “directly attributable to the coronavirus crisis,” excluding it from being used to purchase ventilators, personal protective equipment, or to establish provisional hospitals. According to the article, James Nash, a spokesperson for the National Governors Association, has said that “governors want to use the funds more broadly, to fill holes in their budgets that are indirectly attributable to the coronavirus, such as the shutdown of businesses and soaring jobless rate that will depress the state revenues from corporate and personal taxes, as well as sales and gasoline taxes.”
Governors are hoping congress will allocate $500 billion in the new bill to help keep their states fiscally solvent.
Read more about the importance of new and unrestricted funding for state operations during the coronavirus here.