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Ducey, GOP governors calling for direct federal COVID-19 aid to states

By: - March 23, 2020 4:28 pm

Illustration by iStockphoto / Getty Images

Gov. Doug Ducey joined 20 other Republican governors in authoring a letter calling on Congress to include direct aid to states as part of their COVID-19 response plans.

“We are working to lessen the impact of COVID-19 in our states, but we need direct assistance from Congress. Injecting states with resources would give governors the ability to respond to the unique needs of each state with the speed and flexibility that is required to respond to this monumental challenge,” the 21 governors wrote in a letter to Democratic and Republican congressional leaders.

The Republican-backed emergency funding measure currently being considered by the U.S. Senate – but which has stalled amid disputes over a variety provisions – includes what The Washington Post called “a massive $500 billion program for businesses, states and localities.” How that money would be distributed would be almost entirely up to the discretion of the U.S. Treasury Department. 

The governors said in their letter that the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which causes the COVID-19 disease, has “put an unprecedented burden on state governments,” which are now spending on the local responses but anticipate budget shortfalls because of sharply depressed economic activity.

“A block grant to each state would provide the certainty we need to continue providing critical services at a high level when they are needed more than ever,” the governors wrote.

The letter was signed by the GOP governors of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

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Jim Small
Jim Small

Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications. He has also served as the editor and executive director of the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.