In Blue States and Red, the epidemic combines public services and jobs

The coronavirus epidemic has hit the state and local governments financially, Securities Tax Receipts From hundreds of billions of dollars. Now devastating budget cuts, loom cuts to endanger public services and work forces beyond the 1.3 million jobs lost in eight months.

Governors, mayors and county officials Has requested For federal aid before the end of the year. Congressional Republicans assisted with the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, calling it “Blue state bailout. “

But it turns out that this is the color of the budget crisis. According to a Moody’s Analytics report, six of the seven states are facing the biggest revenue declines in the next two years, they are – the Republican-led states and won by President Trump this year.

They agree on the front lines. “I don’t think it’s a red-state, blue-state issue,” said Brian Siegries, director of state financial studies at the National Association of State Budget Officers. Top officials of the National Governors Association – Andrew M. of New York. Cuomo, a Democrat, and Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, a Republican – were released Statement Saying, “This is a national problem, and it calls for a bipartisan and national solution.”

Efforts to create a new stimulus bill gained momentum this week with a $ 900 billion proposal proposed by a bipartisan group of legislators and supported by Democratic leaders – including $ 160 billion for state, local and tribal governments. While such an amount would provide welcome relief, to reduce wider fiscal gaps. But Republican leadership shows no signs of getting around state and local aid.

In fact, the degree of financial crisis reduces the degree to which a party controls the state or city hall of a state, compared to the number of Kovid-19 cases, the types of businesses that go through a state’s economy, and its Tax structure.

Wyoming, Alaska and North Dakota, Republican-led states that depend on energy-related taxes, have been attached to the wall. Sharp drop in oil prices. Locations where tourism provides a large infusion of revenue, like Florida and Nevada, face revenue declines of 10 percent or more compared to Louisiana, which relies on both tourism and energy.

Elsewhere, a steep drop in sales and income taxes – which is on average the average account Two-thirds of a state’s revenuePew is forcing Republican and Democratic officials to consider closing police officers, reducing childhood vaccinations, and closing libraries, parks and drug treatment centers – according to Pew Charitable Trusts.

Even the most optimistic assumption about the course of the epidemic for financial results for states and local governments is that “the worst will happen after the Great Depression” and to dig up Dan White, director of fiscal policy research on Moody’s Analytics It will take years. , concluded.

Turns into squeeze at the state level Urban, suburban and rural counties In close Every corner Of the United States, and officials are making piercing options.

Casper, Wyo. In, someone from the district attorney’s office walks each week to build a block circuit court and a large plastic garbage bag filled with paper clips to discard.

The brief trip is just one way that the prosecutor, Dan Itzen, is cutting costs. They have also stopped prosecuting 17 types of misdemeanors – including assault and battery, first-time drunk driving, shoplifting, fraud and property damage.

“Something had to be given,” said Mr. Itzen, who handles one-third of Wyoming’s criminal cassiolad and received his money from the state. “If I am losing personnel, I cannot prosecute in many cases.”

Kansas City, Mo., with a municipal budget of $ 1.7 billion. In, the city manager has asked each department to draft a plan to cut more than 11 percent. City Council member Dan Fowler said the layoffs of 200 police officers from a 1,300-member force and 180 firefighters and emergency medical technicians could mean the same.

“That’s one of the things that keeps me up at night,” Mr. Fowler said, thinking about the impact on the city’s half-million residents. He said that such cuts could lead to the closure of one or two police stations, although crimes are increasing.

Emergency response time is already slow, Mr. Fowler said, even though he lives near a hospital, “If I have a heart attack, I’ll just crawl there.”

From the gathering of garbage to issuing building permits, pits have been built to repair the park, “Everything is slowing down because we are not going to let people do it,” he explained. Traffic study of a road in his district has been delayed with a heavy accident toll.

In New Orleans, Democratic city leaders are going through a similar painful process, Shrinking in the next financial year General Fund $ 92 million, up to $ 634 million.

To avoid layoffs, the city is cutting salaries of high-level employees by 10 percent and most other employees, including police officers, firefighters and emergency responders, are required to take 26 unpaid furlough days – one every two weeks – next. year. There is a 10 percent reduction in this trick, and it comes out on top Six furlongs By the end of this year, the city had about 4,000 employees.

On any given day, it means fewer people will be available to drive buses, answer emergency calls or pick up trash.

“We’re in the marrow,” said Gilbert Montanaso, the city’s chief administrative officer. Each agency cut an average of 21 percent of what they were already facing.

New Orleans, like most cities and neighborhoods, spends heavily on its workforce, making it nearly impossible to reduce spending without reducing people’s working hours.

State and local employees make up about 13 percent of the nation’s workforce. for Women and black workersIn particular, the public sector has historically offered more opportunities than the private sector for stable income and reliable benefits.

“These people are providing essential public services every day,” said Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. With a pink slip. “

So far, there has been a huge loss of state and local jobs In the feild of education. Although many layoffs have been portrayed as temporary, teachers and parents worry that they may be permanent. In a new poll of mayors, 45 percent said they expected “dramatic” cuts for their school budgets.

Public schools rely on property taxes to a great extent. States often provide additional funding, but many have cut their education budgets.

Along with the heat in most states, managed to reach a specific endpoint for the fiscal year. Were there First strong growth The outbreak of the epidemic occurred in March, and the $ 2.2 trillion CARS Act, which Congress passed in the early spring, saved many families. In SPOT, additional federal money can be used to cover some state and local epidemic-related expenses in health care and education.

Both of those cushions fade. In most places, the 2020–21 fiscal year will play in the shadow of an epidemic and a stubborn economy. And federal emergency funds for expanded unemployment benefits that have helped families meet housing and food expenses date expired In late December, placing even more demand on public services.

Jerome H., President of the Federal Reserve. Powell, And many economists Warned that reducing state and local spending would bring down a weak recovery, as it did after the Great Recession. Account of expenditure by state and local governments 15 percent of the country’s economic activityAccording to, the Bureau of Economic Analysis is part of the Department of Commerce.

While the federal government can run budget deficits to cover both regular and unexpected expenses, states typically cannot.

In Wyoming, Republican Governor, Mark Gordon, acknowledged declining economy after announcing New round of cuts for financial year. He said that 160 private sector jobs are dependent on every 100 state employees who spend money on haircuts, children’s games and restaurants.

Although Wyoming faces one of the worst budget shaking, it also has the largest rainy day, Which states built after the last recession to help weather recession. Many states, including Louisiana, Nevada, New York and Illinois, have little or nothing left.

Still, the Wyoming governor has said he does not want to burn through the state’s safety net, which is running ahead of potentially difficult times. Funds may also be needed to plug an additional $ 300 million deficit related to the state’s public schools. Therefore, Mr. Gordon has proposed cutting programs to deal with childhood immunization, substance abuse and mental health.

Meg Wiehe, deputy executive director of the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, said Wyoming is dealing with the least painful reality.

“The big cuts that will resonate with people are all going to come to a head in the early part of next year,” Ms Vihey said. “We’re making some deep and very devastating cuts.”

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