As part of a coordinated regional effort to combat COVID-19, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf Friday urged the federal government to consider a fiscal stimulus plan in the form of a direct cash assistance program to provide an immediate financial infusion to all four states to help cover costs related to COVID-19 response operations.
The four governors, who said their states collectively represent 16 percent of the United States economy, made the request in a letter issued to President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
The governors said the financial impact of the aggressive mitigation efforts implemented this week will result in billions of dollars in lost revenue and unprecedented budgetary hardships without direct federal intervention. The letter estimates that for the four states alone, the direct cash assistance must total at least $100 billion to account for the fiscal challenges ahead of state budget deadlines.
‘We owe an enormous debt to the relief efforts and resources that our federal partners have already provided,” wrote the governors. “But our challenges are expanding daily and just beginning. Our states have all stepped up to take unprecedented action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and do all we can to flatten the curve. We implore you to consider the devastating impact these efforts will have on our states – and millions of our residents – both in the immediate term and the months to come.”
A copy of the coalition’s letter can be found here.