The state seals of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.
The state seals of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

WASHINGTON –– Gov. Ned Lamont on Friday joined the governors of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania in asking President Donald Trump and congressional leaders for $100 billion in direct cash assistance to avoid laying off government workers and slashing funding for education and transportation during the COVID-19 crisis.

Lamont, and governors Andrew Cuomo, Phil Murray and Tom Wolf said their states deserve the money because, together, they represent 16 percent of the nation’s economy and “are on the front lines” of the battle against the coronavirus.

“We have acted collectively to take the most aggressive approach possible to mitigate the spread of the virus,” the governors wrote. “We have declared states of emergency and mobilized all available state resources. We have closed our schools, our restaurants, and our malls – and have significantly restricted or closed nonessential businesses. We have dramatically increased spending to protect our residents from this virus and to provide critical relief for individuals whose livelihoods are threatened or upended by our response.”

Without the money, the governors said they will be forced to “make incredibly difficult choices in light of our new fiscal reality.”

“Without flexible and immediately accessible resources, states may be left with no choice but to lay off thousands of employees, be unable to pay employees who are providing life-sustaining services, slash funding for education and transportation, and substantially reduce critical services — just as our residents need our support the most,” the governors wrote.

The governors want the $100 billion in direct aid to be included in the third coronavirus bill under negotiation among the White House, congressional Democrats, and congressional Republican. They did not indicate how they wanted to divide them money among the four states.

The new coronavirus stimulus bill is expected to exceed $1 trillion dollars. But it is expected to include expensive new programs, including cash payments to Americans and help for small businesses and large industries hard hit by the virus.

The four governors will have to compete with their counterparts in other states and an army of special interests for the money.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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  1. You may choose not to print this but it needs to be said. Publications across this state are always quick to report on the fortunes of the so called defense industry and it’s impact on the fiscal health of Connecticut. The patriotic virtues of providing our men and women in uniform with the best and most up to date equipment is endlessly heralded. In nearly two decades of “war” which some, myself included would instead describe as military adventurism we are told “we must support the troops” and we have. Trillions spent on ventures whose only beneficiary seems to be those who supply the endless conflicts with non definable end. Today, we are confronted with a real enemy, not a third world country with no air force or navy that we are told that we need fear every moment of our lives but an actual immediate threat to our lives. Our “troops”, the medical professionals sworn to protect us from this plague are running out of protective gear FAST . My daughter is one of them. She may soon be asked to do her job unprotected, to risk her life to care for others. I am sickened by that thought much in the same manner as a parent whose child would join the military and be sent into harms way unarmed. The richest most powerful nation in the history of the world? Sure, when it comes to killing we always find the money to spare but when it comes to saving lives we never seem to have the time or money to make it a priority. We are a disgrace. I pray not only for my daughter but for every one of these brave professionals who very soon will be asked to literally run into a burning building with gasoline poured over them and it’s all our fault.

    1. Randall,
      It is shocking, irresponsible, and completely, completely, completely unacceptable. I am appalled and very upset that we have apparently no structure and highly prepared and practiced system in place. I pray your daughter stays safe. And all the wonderful front line folks. We are asking way too much of them.

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