California Task Force calls on Congress for $1 trillion in coronavirus aid

Key California business leaders are urging Congress to approve a trillion dollars in additional spending to avoid the massive budget cuts faced by all state and local governments as a result of Covid-19.

In a letter to Congress, members of California Gavin Newsom’s task force on the recovery of businesses and jobs wrote: “The worst of the economic impact [is] probably still to come. “

The letter, sent on Friday, was signed by nearly 100 business leaders, including Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Priscilla Chan (and wife of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg), Netflix content manager, Ted Sarandos and venture capitalist Ben Horowitz of venture capitalist Andreessen Horowitz. You can read the the full list of working group members here.

“Reopening our economies is a welcome step forward, but the success of our efforts ultimately depends on strengthening consumer confidence in shopping security and on workers’ certainty that the services they depend on to do their jobs will stay put. Without that, we will be an economy reopened only in name. “

They said the funds would be essential to help with necessary programs such as contact tracing and testing.

“Due to the sudden drop in economic activity, many states, including California, will be forced to cut programs that help these same people dramatically,” the letter said.

The letter went on to say that without additional assistance from the federal government, child care, vocational training and support for small businesses “will all be axed.”

The letter is addressed to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, to the leader of the parliamentary minority Kevin McCarthy, to the leader of the Senate majority Mitch McConnell and to the leader of the Senate minority Chuck Schumer.

The demand comes on the heels of the Trump administration and Senate Republicans rejecting the House bill to spend an additional $ 3 trillion on Covid-19 relief. The legislation, which the House of Representatives passed on Friday, includes $ 1 trillion in funding for cash-strapped state and local governments. The Republican-controlled Senate should not adopt the House package.

“It will protect essential government services like public health, public safety, public education and help people get back to work. This funding will help our states and our cities – and the US economy – get out of this crisis more stronger and more resilient, “wrote the letter. says $ 1 trillion in funding for local governments.

Newsom formed the task force in April to help Californians recover from the economic fallout as quickly as possible.

Newsom on Thursday announced a grim revised budget plan that would cut the billions to tackle a massive government deficit of $ 54.3 billion, which he claims is the direct result of Covid-19.

Newsom said he expected unemployment to rise to 25% as the pandemic continues to hit the economy.

You can read the full working group letter below:

Dear President Pelosi, Chef McConnell, Chef McCarthy and Chef Schumer:

Thank you for your leadership during this unprecedented crisis. As members of the Governor of California’s task force on business and job recovery, we are non-political leaders from different sectors of the economy with the same goal: to protect the health of the 40 million Americans who call our state house and lay the foundation for California. – and America – economic recovery. We write to you individually and not on behalf of our companies and organizations.

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way we manage our businesses and organizations in the future, with the worst economic impact to come. Reopening our economies is a welcome step forward, but the success of our efforts ultimately depends on building consumer confidence in purchasing security and workers’ confidence that the services they depend on to do their job will stay put. Without this, we will be an economy reopened only in name.

State, local and tribal governments are essential to our recovery. In the short term, they must be able to expand the necessary programs, such as contact tracing and testing. Given budget deficits, they are also soon faced with impossible decisions – such as funding additional security measures linked to COVID-19 that will help companies reopen faster or prevent layoffs of teachers, police, firefighters and other first responders. Without additional assistance from the federal government, the very programs that will help people get their lives back on track and get back to work – from child care to job training to small business support – will all be forced to fall .

We deeply appreciated the rapid financial assistance that Congress has provided to workers, businesses and those displaced by this unprecedented crisis. But now, due to the sudden drop in economic activity, many states, including California, will be forced to cut programs that help these same people considerably. We stand with business leaders across the country, on both sides of the aisle, who have respectfully and urgently asked Congress to provide $ 1 trillion in direct and flexible assistance to states, tribes and local governments. . It will protect essential government services like public health, public safety, public education and help people get back to work. This funding will help our states and our cities – and the US economy – to emerge from this crisis stronger and more resilient.

We urge you to ensure that Congress acts quickly and we thank you once again for your leadership in this national crisis.

Regards,

Governor working group on business and job recovery

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