“COVID-19 is both a public health and economic emergency,” the National Governors Association wrote in a letter recently to national policy makers requesting aid to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. And, as we saw today, public workers are starting to feel the brunt of this emergency with the Ohio governor announcing significant cuts ($775 million) as well as state employee layoffs aimed at balancing the state budget.
That’s why AFSCME, our international union, continues to advocate for public services on the national level demanding that the federal government take bipartisan action NOW to ease the burden on state and local governments, and public workers.
“Let’s be clear! We are asking for as much state and local government aid as it takes to fix the problem,” says AFSCME. This includes federal funding that helps states and local governments meet their urgent needs, avoid layoffs, provide health care and education funding, and protect workers on the front lines.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report details that states are facing deficits of $650 billion over the next three years. That’s why governors across the country are requesting $500 billion in aid for states and localities to maintain public health during this exceptional crisis and keep state economies afloat due to lost revenue from the pandemic fallout. In addition to stabilization funding, states are requesting increased Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) from 6.2 percent to 12 percent and more PPE and testing.
This growing crisis, and growing need, means we need growing action now!
Send a letter to your representatives and senators to demand that they fund state and local governments so that we can fight the pandemic and re-open our economy. Public service workers are doing their part. Members of Congress need to do theirs.
OR Text FUND to 237-263 to tell Congress to fund the frontlines
OR call your national legislators to demand state and local funding You can use these talking points:
- Congress has not done nearly enough to provide state and local governments with the funding they need to continue to deliver quality public services.
- If we see massive layoffs because we don’t get state and local aid, there will be extreme cuts to public services with catastrophic effects. Entire communities will suffer both from a public health and economic perspective.
- We can’t fight this pandemic or reopen the economy without strong public services and public service workers to deliver critical services.
- We continue to put our lives on the line every day to serve our communities. We do it because we love our jobs and care about helping people, and I don’t think anyone believes we deserve to be laid off.
- Congress must pass as much aid as it takes to fix the problems state and local governments face. This aid package should be large enough to allow states and localities to avoid layoffs, fund more health care and education, and protect all workers on the front lines.