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Governor Newsom Declares Budget Emergency to Help California’s Response to COVID-19

California Governor Gavin Newsom delivering an update on COVID-19 in the state on Thursday afternoon. – Courtesy photo

Governor Gavin Newsom proclaimed a budget emergency on Thursday to make additional resources available to fund the state’s ongoing emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring the availability of funding for personal protective equipment, medical equipment and other expenditures as necessary to support a potential hospital surge and provide necessary services to vulnerable populations.

The proclamation clears the way for the Legislature to pass legislation allowing the state to draw $7.8 billion from the state’s rainy day fund to help California continue to meet the COVID-19 crisis, which has triggered a global economic crisis and a $54.3 billion state budget deficit.

The rest of the deficit will be covered through pay cuts to state workers, delayed payments to public schools, internal borrowing, spending cuts and temporary tax increases on businesses. In May, the governor and state legislatures asked the federal government for funding to avoid some of these cuts.

In a joint statement released earlier in the week announcing a reached agreement on the budget, the governor, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said, “To be clear, this budget required some tough decisions and more work remains ahead. But they were necessary steps for keeping California on firm fiscal footing while we continue to meet the COVID-19 challenge, protect vital services and our most vulnerable communities, and build a strong fiscal bridge to a safe, speedy economic resurgence. Californians are doing their part – now it’s imperative for our federal partners to pass a responsible and comprehensive relief plan so states and local communities can continue to keep Americans safe while leading our national economic recovery.”

The State Senate is set to vote on the budget Thursday and send it to the Assembly for a vote Friday. The new budget will take effect July 1.

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