State governments need a $150 billion aid package from the federal government, the National Governors Association on Friday said in a letter to top members of Congress.
The letter was backed by NGA Chairman Larry Hogan of Maryland and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, the group's vice chairman.
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Public health systems are expected to be overwhelmed in the coming weeks by the influx of patients due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
But that's only part of the broader problem of the economic toll the pandemic is already taking on businesses and the economy.
“Providing aid directly to states and territories gives governors the flexibility they need to try innovative approaches to protect a wide range of services such as: addressing the increase in unemployment, minimizing the economic impact of business closures, ensuring all students have access to education, meeting the child care and housing needs of residents, and maintaining public transportation and social welfare programs,” they wrote in the letter.
New York alone is estimated to lose between $3 billion and $7 billion in revenue.
The letter urged Congress to increase the federal share of Medicaid funding for the states. A panel on Thursday recommended a $400 million cut to hospitals for New York alone.