State and local governments are warning of a wave of layoffs and pay cuts after getting left out of the federal coronavirus relief package expected to pass Congress this week.
In many places, those painful reductions are already taking shape:
Los Angeles plans to force city workers to spend 26 days on unpaid leave as revenues are forecast to drop as much as $600 million next fiscal year. Detroit has proposed laying off 200 workers and furloughing thousands more. In Ohio’s Hamilton County, Commissioner Denise Driehaus is taking a 10% pay cut alongside county workers.
“We are really struggling,” Driehaus said.
The $2.2 trillion emergency legislation known as the CARES Act, which President Donald Trump signed late last month, included $150 billion in direct help for state and local governments grappling with the impact of the deadly outbreak. Democrats pushed to include another $150 billion in the next tranche of aid, but Republicans sought to keep the bill narrowly focused on support for small business.
By Tuesday night, Democrats yielded on their demand. The Senate passed the legislation by unanimous consent — without additional help for state and local governments. The House is slated to vote Thursday, and Trump is expected to sign it.