Florida governor: Coronavirus pandemic ‘should not be used to bail out state obligations’ that preceded outbreak
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Sunday that coronavirus relief funds should not include aid to states for financial obligations that predate the pandemic.
“Florida, we were flush before this. We were going well. Obviously, this is going to hit our revenues, because you have had key sectors of our economy, like tourism, that have taken a huge hit,” DeSantis told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“What I would say is, it’s one thing to help a state with lost revenue from the pandemic, but this pandemic should not be used to bail out obligations that were run up over 20 or 30 years. I think that would be very unfair to the states that have done it well,” he added. “And so I think, if you’re going to make a state whole from pre-pandemic, that’s one thing. But to go beyond that and to bail out pensions or do things like that, a lot of these states weren’t being managed properly.”
President Trump made similar comments in a tweet last week accusing what he called “poorly run states” such as Illinois of seeking bailouts.
The week before, he had expressed hope that future coronavirus packages would include fiscal relief for state and local governments but after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested states should be allowed to declare bankruptcy Trump said his administration was exploring the idea.
“I’ve been talking to a lot of the different senators, but I don’t want to talk about it now,” Trump said last Thursday. “That was a very interesting presentation.”
Despite DeSantis’ comments, governors in both parties have pushed back against McConnell’s comments, with New York’s Andrew Cuomo (D) calling it a “really dumb idea” and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) saying “the last thing we need in the middle of an economic crisis is to have states filing bankruptcy all across America and not able to provide services to people who desperately need them.”
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