SACRAMENTO: Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron and other California leaders formally requested $1 trillion in federal aid today to assist states and local governments with looming budget crises as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Waldron, as part of a coalition of western state officials led by Gov. Gavin Newsom, is requesting emergency funding to stave off deep cuts to essential services like hospitals, education, fire and police.
“This is when we need the federal government the most,” Waldron said. “Our state is facing an unprecedented spike in unemployment and our economy is in shambles--deep budget cuts to essential services will only make our problems worse. Our schools, hospitals and public safety are under serious threat.”
Budgets for government services throughout the country are deeply threatened by the prolonged stay-at-home orders that have shut down economies and jeopardize the livelihoods of countless Americans.
In California, the state budget deficit is projected to be as deep as $54 billion by 2021, which translates to approximately a quarter of the last budget over two fiscal years. Education funding could be slashed by as much as a third. Many hospitals are in danger of bankruptcy. And the state’s official unemployment rate is nearing 15 percent.
“Without federal support, states and cities will be forced to make impossible decisions – like whether to fund critical public healthcare that will help us recover, or prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other first responders,” according to the letter.