Apr 22, 2020 - Health

Cuomo says Trump agreed to push for state funding in next coronavirus bill

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference Wednesday that President Trump agreed during a meeting at the White House to work "very hard" to include funding for state governments in the next coronavirus relief package.

Yes, but: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that he prefers states be allowed to declare bankruptcy rather than receive federal bailouts.

  • "I said yesterday we’re going to push the pause button here, because I think this whole business of additional assistance for state and local governments need to be thoroughly evaluated," McConnell told radio host Hugh Hewitt.
  • "There’s not going to be any desire on the Republican side to bail out state pensions by borrowing money from future generations."

Why it matters: Cuomo has been among the loudest voices sounding the alarm over state budget shortfalls caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats sought to add state funding to the interim coronavirus bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday, but were ultimately unsuccessful.

  • Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.) have proposed a $500 billion fund for state and local governments to be included in Congress' next coronavirus rescue package.

What Cuomo said:

"Help small businesses, that's great. But you have to help state governments because state governments fund the people that the federal government can't fund. State and local governments — we're funding police, fire, teachers, schools. You can't just ignore them. ... We talked to the president about that. The president gets it. He's going to work very hard in the next piece of legislation."

Go deeper: The next economic crisis will hit states and cities

Go deeper

Cities' budget woes worsen with increased social unrest

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Cities were already furloughing workers and considering cutting back essential services — including public safety — because of the dramatic drops in the local tax revenue that funds them. Now they're also dealing with turmoil in their streets.

Why it matters: "Unfortunately, the increasing levels of social unrest across the country reallocated efforts and scarce resources away from the former focus of getting state, regional and local economies back to some semblance of normalcy," per Tom Kozlik, head of municipal strategy and credit at HilltopSecurities.

Updated 11 hours ago - Health

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

The Department of Health and Human Services moved on Thursday to require that an individual's race, ethnicity, age and sex be submitted to the agency with novel coronavirus test results.

Why it matters: Some cities and states have reported the virus is killing black people at disproportionately high rates. There are gaps in the national picture of how many people of color are affected, since the data has not been a requirement for states to collect or disclose.

Jun 3, 2020 - Health

DeSantis says Florida bars and clubs can reopen this week

Outdoor restaurant in Fort Lauderdale on May 18. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that bars and clubs will be allowed to reopen on Friday, as the state continues to scale down restrictions it put in place because of the coronavirus, WCTV reports.

Why it matters: DeSantis ordered bars and clubs to close in mid-March as one of the first actions the state took to stem the spread of the coronavirus.