Cities’ carefully built reserves are being depleted from unexpected and unbudgeted COVID-19-related expenditures, and with no federal relief on the horizon, cities and towns will need to make cuts that may sting for years to come.

Even before the pandemic hit, pension funding had not completely recovered from the Great Recession of 2007-2009, as investment returns and subsequently pension funded ratios fell substantially, leading to changes in pension plan structures that have lasted well beyond the recession.

This brief equips city leaders with an understanding of the city-state relationship heading into the COVID-19 pandemic, and best practices as cities navigate this financial and health crisis and prepare for the future.