FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2020
Media Contact: Press@Michigan.gov
Governor Whitmer Leads Coalition of Governors to Call on the Trump Administration to Support Additional Resources for States, Localities
LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Governors Gretchen Whitmer (MI), Tony Evers (WI), and Tom Wolf (PA) sent a letter to President Trump requesting that he work quickly with Congress to support additional resources for all states and localities so that they can address budgetary shortfalls that have resulted from the COVID-19 crisis.
“Without this leadership, the damage to our state economies will be exacerbated by the cuts we know we will be forced to make,” The governors said. “We ask you to heed this weekend’s call from the leadership of the National Governors Association, Chair Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and Vice Chair New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and support $500 billion in state stabilization funds that will allow for the replacement of lost revenues and with the maximum flexibility possible so the funding can be used beyond those costs directly tied to COVID-19 related expenses.”
In Michigan, initial estimates suggest state revenues could be reduced by $3 billion alone this year - $7 billion over the next 18 months – due to the measures taken to halt the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing by the public and non-essential business closures. These cuts will undoubtedly lead to continued and major job losses in my state, where over 1 million new unemployment claims have been filed since March 15, a 5000% increase over a 4-week period, representing roughly a quarter of the state’s workforce..
Wisconsin is already experiencing major job losses in the wake of COVID-19, with the unemployment rate estimated at roughly 15% of the state’s workforce as of today. Initial estimates indicate that state revenue losses are likely to exceed $2 billion over the next year, and this significant revenue shortfall will damage the state’s ability to respond to the economic crisis faced by our workers and businesses.
In Pennsylvania, leaders are projecting a budget deficit ranging between $4.5 billion and $5 billion. That deficit will make it incredibly difficult to focus our efforts on supporting workers and businesses as we move past the COVID-19 pandemic and attempt to rebuild our economy for Pennsylvania’s middle class. The state has already seen dire impacts to businesses and over 1.3 million unemployment compensation claims, desperately needs federal assistance to ensure that, when this pandemic ends, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is able to get back on its feet.
“As the COVID-19 crisis continues, the health of our people and our economies are dependent on your actions in the coming days and weeks,” the governors continued. “We implore you to act decisively and expeditiously during this unprecedented time for our Nation.”
Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the U.S. Department of the Treasury launched its online portal this week to allow eligible State, local, and tribal governments to receive payments to help offset the costs of their response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. This will allow an initial $71 billion to be made available to meet some immediate cash flow needs of state and local governments. However, states will need more assistance to address the magnitude of the crushing impact this virus has had on their economies.
To view the full letter, click the link below: