Boost aid to meet need. Improve flexibility. Lengthen duration. Include everyone.
By Wendy Patton & Will Petrik
During tough times, government leadership can keep our society going. The government can step in to keep families putting food on the table, help people who are sick get medical care and make sure parents who have to work have safe places to care for their children. It’s government action that makes sure the trash keeps getting collected and an ambulance shows up if there is an emergency. Only the federal government has the tools and the means to fully address the size and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic and the recession it caused.
Thirty-nine percent of low-income workers were laid off by their employers. With so many people suddenly without income to spend, cities and state governments have less of the income and sales tax revenue they need to perform essential functions, like making sure businesses are keeping workers and customers safe by following social distancing rules.
Although the federal government deployed several aid packages, a crisis this size calls for an even bolder response. The aid packages Congress passed are set to expire before the pandemic and recession end. They prohibited cities and states from using aid for budget shortfalls, so state and local lawmakers are slashing services and laying people off. This will make the pandemic recession worse.
Read more here at Policy Matters Ohio.