8 Numbers That Sum Up The Financial Crisis Facing State And Local Governments

As the coronavirus crisis continues to force business closures and layoffs across the country, state and local finances are stretched to the limit. The cost of healthcare and public services is soaring as states attempt to contain the virus. Meanwhile, tax revenues are plummeting as jobs disappear and spending slows. 

Here are eight numbers that sum up the crisis.

$555 billion

That’s the combined budget shortfall that states are projected to face through 2022, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 

90%

That’s the percentage of cities that say it will be more difficult to meet the financial needs of their communities in fiscal year 2021 compared to the prior, according to a new report from the National League of Cities. 

65%

That’s the portion of cities that delayed capital expenditures or infrastructure projects in June, according to the NLC. 

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1.2 million

That’s how many local government jobs have been lost since pandemic hit the United States in February, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

$100

That’s the weekly payment states were initially asked to contribute to President Trump’s proposed federal unemployment supplement. States immediately balked at the plan, with many refusing to commit or saying their budgets were already stretched too thin. New guidance this week clarified that states won’t have to chip in, after all, to be eligible to pay out a federal $300 benefit through the new program.  

$9.9 billion

That’s how much New Jersey can borrow to cover the budget shortfalls created by the coronavirus crisis, according to a New Jersey Supreme Court decision. Hawaii and Illinois have also considered loans to fill budget gaps. 

$150 billion

That’s the amount of federal aid the Cares Act, signed into law in March by President Trump, provided for state and local governments.  

$1 trillion

That’s how much additional aid Democrats allotted for state and local governments in the Heroes Act, the $3+ trillion aid package they passed in May. Republicans, on the other hand, didn’t include any additional state aid in their proposal. This issue has been a major sticking point in negotiations over the next bill. So far, top Democrats and the Trump Administration have not been able to reach an agreement.

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