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COVID-19 and State and Local Financial Matters

In response to unprecedented, deep and broad financial devastation from COVID-19 Congress has passed record-breaking economic relief. But enacted aid to state and local governments falls far short of offsetting the intense fiscal pressure governments are facing from collapsing revenues, increased demands on safety net programs, and the direct costs of the COVID-19 response. With an apparent partisan divide, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested that state governments consider bankruptcy rather than request critical economic resources. Our expert panelists present data on the state and local fiscal landscape now and projections for the coming years. They also discuss effective tools federal policymakers can use to address the tremendous financial challenges for state and local governments. 


  • Matthew Fiedler, Fellow, USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy, Economic Studies, Brookings Institution
  • Lisa Christensen Gee, Director of Special Initiatives, Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy
  • Elaine Maag, Principal Research Associate, Urban Institute


  • Francine J. Lipman, William S. Boyd Professor of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law

Joint Sponsor: ABA Section of State and Local Government


Presentations: Lisa Christensen GeeMatthew FiedlerElaine Maag

Economic Catastrophe in States Looms as Federal Relief Lags

States will need more fiscal relief. Policymakers should make that happen automatically.

Increasing federal support for state Medicaid and CHIP programs in response to economic downturns

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