As 2020 drew to a close, the Federal government had approved over $3 trillion in stimulus funding (equivalent to about 15% of GDP) and the Federal Reserve increased its balance sheet by $3 trillion (near 75%) in response to the COVID-19 recession. After extended negotiation in Congress, an additional $1.9 trillion in federal fiscal relief will soon hit the US economy.
A number of states began to consider state-sponsored stimulus programs as the initial round of federal funding began to wane in the fall of 2020, amidst uncertainty about magnitude and type of additional federal support and a retrenching of the economy. Among other policies, these programs include boosting unemployment benefits, providing businesses with emergency loans, and making targeted infrastructure investments. While states are constrained by balanced budgets, some states have found capacity for these stimulus programs in unexpected revenue surpluses after early-pandemic spending cuts. There is debate about the capacity for and efficacy of local stimulus.
Join this roundtable to hear expert insights on the current state of state budgets, lessons learned from the Great Recession, and how these policies are playing out at the state level.