Capitol Correspondence - 10.20.20

Big Picture: How Much Tax Revenue Have States Lost, and How Do Their Pandemic Responses Rate?

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We share this article by ASAE because state tax revenues affect how much they can invest in their Medicaid programs, which fund the majority of disability supports in the US. As our members know, that is because Medicaid is a federal-state partnership in which the federal government matches, at a rate that varies per state, the state’s investment. ANCOR has long voiced concerns to Congress about how potential state cuts to Medicaid wrought by the pandemic could carry repercussions for essential disability programs.

As a companion piece to the state revenues article, we also share below the text of an article by Politico Pulse about which states have had stronger pandemic responses, since the economy’s ability to rebound depends on how well the virus is contained.

As reported by ASAE, the association for association professionals to which ANCOR belongs: “The COVID-19 pandemic has cost state governments an estimated $31 billion in lost tax revenues to date, and those numbers could get worse without agreement on a new federal stimulus package, according to an analysis from Urban Institute.

The report from Urban Institute is based on an analysis of state tax revenues collected during the first six months of the pandemic, compared to the same period last year. The loss represents a 6.4 percent decline in revenue across the 44 states with data available through August.

Revenue declines could be steeper in the second half of the year, in part because federal $1,200 stimulus checks and additional $600-per-week unemployment benefits enacted as part of the CARES Act in March have largely expired.”

As reported by Politico Pulse:

GRADING THE STATES WITH THE BEST PANDEMIC RESPONSE — When President Donald Trump decided early on to delegate responsibility for much of the pandemic to the states, he set the nation on 50 different trajectories in the fight against Covid-19.

Some states acted aggressively to contain the threat, and others far less so. But POLITICO’s Tucker Doherty, Victoria Guida, Bianca Quilantan and Gabrielle Wanneh canvassed experts and officials across the country to identify the states that stood out:

— Vermont and Washington got high marks for keeping cases and deaths low despite an early introduction to the virus. Experts credit them with a cautious approach to reopening and for letting health officials, not politicians, lead the public messaging early on.

— Michigan tackled racial disparities with the help of a dedicated task force, after initially struggling to contain the virus in Detroit.

— Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Connecticut blunted some of the pandemic’s worst economic effects with efficiently-run unemployment insurance systems and generous housing relief.

— And Rhode Island received praise for prioritizing in-person school reopening, while also devoting substantial resources for testing and staffing needed to do so safely.”