Local leaders say it’ll take a lot more than a vaccine to solve the coronavirus crisis.

Thanks to COVID-19, an economic recession is devastating state and city budgets across the country. Take Chicago, for example: The city faces a budget gap of more than $1 billion. The same goes for many states: Georgia had to cut its budget by 10 percent, Pennsylvania is short some $5 billion, and Washington state is contemplating a $1-billion cut in long-term care services for the elderly and people with disabilities.

And the countless impacts of climate change aren’t letting up just because we’re focused on controlling a global pandemic. This means the needs in America’s city halls and statehouses right now are great and varied. Florida’s mayors, for example, are calling for federal aid to support climate action as part of their COVID-19 recovery.

The reality is this: For communities to rebuild their economies, close pandemic-induced budget gaps, maintain essential social services, and invest in new jobs, federal help will be necessary. The question is what form it will take.

The economic fallout from COVID-19 is exacerbating enormous long-term challenges that were already stretching us thin, like the climate crisis, increasing income inequality, social unrest, and rising national debt. With this much being thrown at us all at once, we need solutions that can take on a few of these national challenges at the same time.

That’s where a new proposed policy plan called the American Recovery for Climate, Health and Economic Stability (ARCHES) comes in. Under ARCHES, the federal government would provide block grants to cities and states to the tune of $1.72 trillion over the next 10 years. It aims to replenish pandemic-depleted budgets so local governments can provide essential services at a time when we really can’t afford to lose them. The funding would come from new fees on corporate fossil fuel pollution.

Read the full article about climate action and investment at Grist.