PRESS RELEASE: STATE TREASURERS TO CONGRESS: PASS AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN TO KEEP ESSENTIAL WORKERS ON THE JOB, GET AMERICANS VACCINATED, AND SUPPORT LOCAL ECONOMIES

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
February 17, 2021

Contact:
Maddy McDaniel, Communications Director

[email protected] or 914-471-7716

STATE TREASURERS TO CONGRESS: PASS AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN TO KEEP ESSENTIAL WORKERS ON THE JOB, GET AMERICANS VACCINATED, AND SUPPORT LOCAL ECONOMIES

17 State Treasurers Signed Letter Urging Their Congressional Delegations to Pass the American Rescue Plan with Support for State and Local Governments

State Treasurers Will Join A Press to Discuss the Need for State and Local Aid Thursday at 11:00AM ET — Register Here

Without Additional Aid, State Governments Face Budget Shortfalls That Could Exceed $500 Billion Over The Next Two Years

Every Dollar Invested In State And Local Governments Pays Dividends For The National Economy To The Tune Of $1.36 In GDP Growth.

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, 17 state treasurers signed a letter urging their Congressional delegations to support the American Rescue Plan, which includes $350 billion in state and local aid to keep essential workers on the job, support vaccination efforts, and to open schools safely. After a year of depleted revenues, state and local governments have had to lay off 1.4 million workers and are struggling to keep up with the demand for vaccinations without adequate funding. Facing a potential budget shortfall that could exceed $500 billion over the next two years, states are in dire need of additional funding from Congress.

President Biden’s robust plan meets the urgency of the moment, providing much-needed relief to state and local governments to keep essential workers on the job and get people vaccinated, among other key provisions.

Read more about how aid for state and local governments can rescue the economy here.

The state treasurers write in the letter:

“As state treasurers and the guardians of our states’ fiscal health, we urge our Congressional delegations to support the American Rescue Plan with full funding for state and local aid.

The health and economic emergency associated with the coronavirus crisis has taken a severe financial toll on states and municipalities. Tax revenues have plummeted while expenses associated with battling the pandemic have soared. Overall state budget shortfalls are set to​ exceed $500 billion​ over the next two years.

As long as states and municipalities are forced to underinvest in economic growth to manage the current crisis, economic recovery will be slower than it needs to be.  Congress must step up to help states and municipalities invest in rapid economic growth while at the same time finishing the job of immunizing Americans.

It’s time to put politics aside and work hand in hand to support our communities, keep essential services going, and get our hospitals and health workers what they need to care for the sick.”

Read the full letter and view its signers here.

“As state treasurers, we are the first line of defense for our states’ fiscal health. Today, we’re sounding the alarm that without more federal aid, the economic recovery for local economies will be far slower than it should be,” said Zach Conine, State Treasurer of Nevada. “Our Congressional delegations have the power to give their states the funding needed to keep the engine of local economies running, and we urge them to do so.”

“States and municipalities are the drivers of local economic growth, but the budget shortfalls that states across the country are facing threaten to stifle local economies for years to come without more federal aid,” said Dave Young, State Treasurer of Colorado. “Congress must act swiftly to send the funding necessary to keep essential workers on the job, help small businesses restart, and get people vaccinated so that states and municipalities can continue to make the investments that will allow our local economies to recover.”

“State treasurers are the financial stewards of state assets and we have a front row seat to the damage on local economies caused by the pandemic” said Shawn Wooden, State Treasurer of Connecticut. “The moment for bold action is here. Congress must step up and work to rebuild an inclusive economy that provides aid to local governments to bridge budget shortfalls and also addresses deep structural inequities. Over the past 50 years, the economic inequality gap has grown and the pandemic has further exacerbated this disparity, causing economic pain to millions of Americans through no fault of their own.”

“In my short time as State Treasurer, I’ve seen how the ongoing pandemic, and now coupled with unprecedented cold weather, has municipalities all across the state grappling with budget shortfalls putting them on the brink of emergency,” said Lynn Rogers, the State Treasurer of Kansas. “Kansans are relying on their Congressional delegation to act swiftly to pass the relief plan that will provide much needed assistance to their struggling communities, families, schools, hospitals, and small businesses. Without the help of the federal government, average Kansas families will be forced to carry the burden, putting them at risk of falling into poverty that could take generations to overcome.”

The letter’s signers include:

  • Henry Beck, Maine State Treasurer

  • Zach Conine, Nevada State Treasurer

  • Colleen Davis, Delaware State Treasurer

  • Tim Eichenberg, New Mexico State Treasurer

  • Michael Fitzgerald, Iowa State Treasurer

  • Michael Frerichs, Illinois State Treasurer

  • Sarah Godlewski, Wisconsin State Treasurer

  • Deborah Goldberg, Massachusetts State Treasurer

  • Nancy Kopp, Maryland State Treasurer

  • Fiona Ma, California State Treasurer

  • Seth Magaziner, Rhode Island State Treasurer

  • Beth Peace, Vermont State Treasurer

  • Mike Pellicciotti, Washington State Treasurer

  • Tobias Read, Oregon State Treasurer

  • Lynn Rogers, Kansas State Treasurer

  • Shawn T. Wooden, Connecticut State Treasurer

  • David Young, Colorado State Treasurer

The signers above are available for interviews. To get in touch, please contact [email protected].

Read the letter below: 

“As State Treasurers and the guardians of our states’ fiscal health, we urge our Congressional delegations to support the American Rescue Plan with full funding for state and local aid.

The health and economic emergency associated with the coronavirus crisis has taken a severe financial toll on states and municipalities. Tax revenues have plummeted while expenses associated with battling the pandemic have soared. Overall state budget shortfalls are set to​ exceed $500 billion​ over the next two years.

Recovery from COVID-19 will require a focus on both public health and short and long-term investments in economic growth. Unfortunately, under current budget constraints,  states and municipalities are forced to spend limited resources to fight the pandemic at the cost of shoring up businesses that are needed to revitalize our local economies.

As long as states and municipalities are forced to underinvest in economic growth to manage the current crisis, economic recovery will be slower than it needs to be.  Congress must step up to help states and municipalities invest in rapid economic growth while at the same time finishing the job of immunizing Americans.

The urgent need to invest in our states and municipalities is shared by former ​Federal Reserve Chair and Republican appointee Ben Bernanke,​ and ​Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell​ who are among a coalition of bipartisan economists that have endorsed the need for aid to states because every dollar invested pays dividends for the national economy to the tune of ​$1.36 ​in GDP growth.

States and municipalities drive local economic growth through investments in infrastructure, such as bridges, roads, broadband, schools and other projects  that are critical to creating, retaining and attracting businesses in our communities. By issuing bonds to pay for the construction of this infrastructure, states and municipalities give business to local companies and create good-paying jobs for local workers.

Moreover, our state and local jurisdictions are essential partners to the federal government in the distribution of unemployment relief and vaccines. Budget shortfalls stifle this investment which in turn slows down economic growth. They also lead to lower credit ratings which make borrowing more expensive and further hampers economic recovery.

In addition, these shortfalls have forced layoffs of more than ​1.4 million​ workers, put ​millions more​ jobs at risk, and have led to many states struggling to keep up with the demand for vaccinations, lacking the resources it will take to get the shots in people’s arms needed to control the pandemic.

Despite these strains, it has been nearly a year since Congress approved aid to state and local governments. That’s why we urge Congress to take immediate action by passing President Biden’s American Rescue Plan. It includes $350 billion in state and local aid, which will keep states and municipalities investing in local economic growth while  supporting vaccination efforts, and helping to open schools safely.

Congress has the power — and the responsibility — to step in and fill the gap during this emergency. It’s the only way that states can avoid more cuts to services needed by small and large businesses, hospitals, schools, health care facilities, and vaccination efforts. And it’s the only way that Washington can live up to its commitment to the essential workers who have been putting their lives on the line fighting this pandemic since day one, including our heroic health care providers, firefighters, teachers, and law enforcement personnel.

It’s time to put politics aside and work hand in hand to support our communities, keep essential services going, and get our hospitals and health workers what they need to care for the sick.

It’s time for our representatives in Washington to act and pass the American Rescue Plan with full funding for state and local aid.”

About Invest in America

Invest In America is a national rapid response operation advocating for robust public investment to rescue the economy from the COVID crisis and create prosperity for the future, and to fight back against fear-mongers who use deficit concerns as a scapegoat to starve American communities and businesses of resources.

The operation consists of two components: Invest in America, the charitable and public education arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Economic Security Project co-chair Chris Hughes; and Invest in America Action, the advocacy and social welfare arm, which is a fiscally sponsored project of Economic Security Project Action funded by Chris Hughes and the Omidyar Network.

Learn more at InvestInAmericaNow.com and @InvestNowUSA, and InvestinAmericaProject.com.

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