SACRAMENTO – Key working groups from both houses of the California State Legislature are prioritizing economic recovery in the final weeks of session and have developed a joint $100 billion stimulus plan, building upon the successful collaboration that led to a balanced state budget addressing the $54 billion deficit.
Led by Senators Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), and Assemblymembers Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) and Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), lawmakers aim to protect Californians and spur job creation during and even after the COVID-19 crisis. Legislative leadership in both houses have been supportive of the working groups’ efforts;
“Early on in the pandemic, the Senate created a Working Group on Economic Recovery to offer ideas for California’s economic recovery without raising taxes, while also focusing on the needs of all Californians – including small businesses and working families – millions of whom have been adversely impacted by this crisis. We must do all we can to help heal our economy, while ensuring that our solutions do not create further harm.” – Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D–San Diego)
“Millions of Californians are suffering in this economic downturn, and Republicans in Washington, D.C. don’t seem to care. Assembly and Senate Democrats are advancing innovative proposals to help people and small businesses. I look forward to further development of today’s proposals and others in the weeks and months ahead.” – Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D–Lakewood)
The stimulus plan aims to raise $100 billion through a new tax voucher program and the acceleration of other existing revenue streams. The money would be used to boost the economy and protect jobs, small businesses, and working families.
“The Senate and Assembly have been working with the best minds for months to develop the most impactful economic recovery package without harming our state budget. I am excited to share our legislative ideas with the Governor and his Task Force so that together we can protect every-day Californians from further economic fallout created by the pandemic.” – Senate Majority Leader Bob Hertzberg (D–Van Nuys)
“This economic downturn now threatens almost everyone, and especially working and middle-class families. The Legislature is stepping up, advancing a sweeping package of policies that together have the strength to push back against the economic downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic. Most importantly, our approach is inclusive — correcting historical mistakes by prioritizing people of color and other marginalized individuals usually ignored or excluded from public stimulus investments. This will ensure everyone has the opportunity to succeed.” – Senator Steven Bradford (D–Gardena)
“While the stay-at-home order was the necessary and responsible thing to do during the pandemic, the legislature and Governor must now work together to forge an inclusive path forward. Our strategy ensures people don’t fall further behind, while also generating opportunities to put people back to work and build a stronger California.” – Assemblymember Phil Ting (D–San Francisco)
“While California continues to battle the pandemic, our Joint Plan looks to the future and makes sure the State is taking the critical steps today to ensure we continue to be an economic leader in the future. By leveraging revenue sources to make investments in our California families and infrastructure, we are laying the framework for California to not only weather this economic downturn but be better positioned on the other side to grow our economy.” – Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D–Thousand Oaks)
The working groups will also seek input from the Newsom Administration, including the Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery, and from the public. Both houses will work together to approve measures by the August 31, 2020, legislative deadline and identify priorities for the next session. An outline of the plan is attached and available here.
State Treasurer Fiona Ma and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond are engaged with the Legislature, and will provide their expertise as stimulus policies are refined and finalized.
“I applaud the efforts of both houses coming together help regain California’s position as one of the strongest economic engines in the world. This moment requires diplomacy and dedication, and I want to thank our Legislative leadership, and the Governor, for their support in this important endeavor.”- California State Treasurer Fiona Ma
“I applaud the Legislature for crafting a creative and innovative plan to generate much-needed revenue that can strengthen our economy, create jobs, and help our schools reach every student. This plan could generate billions for schools at a time when we must urgently close the digital divide in California. I look forward to working with legislators to get this proposal across the finish line.” – California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond
The complete list of Assembly and Senate working group members includes: Senators Jim Beall, Anna Caballero, Maria Elena Durazo, Cathleen Galgiani, Holly Mitchell, Anthony Portantino, Nancy Skinner, and Bob Wieckowski; Assemblymembers Tasha Boerner Horvath, David Chiu, Eduardo Garcia, Adam Gray, Tim Grayson, Jacqui Irwin, Sydney Kamlager, Monique Limón, Kevin McCarty, Kevin Mullin, Al Muratsuchi, Cottie Petrie-Norris, Rudy Salas and Buffy Wicks.
What Senate and Assemblymember working group members are saying:
“We must pass a strategic stimulus package to boost our economy, help struggling families, and get people back to work. This package consists of several innovative solutions, including leveraging existing funds to accelerate road repair and safety projects that would otherwise take years to complete. This is a sound investment proven to create many skilled, high-paying jobs. An estimated 13,000 jobs are created for each $1 billion invested in infrastructure.” – Senator Jim Beall (D–San Jose)
“Our economic recovery proposal offers help to small businesses and institutions, It seeks to generate 100 billion dollars without raising taxes and spends it on urgent targeted needs – jobs, stability, housing and structural support. I’m very proud of this cooperative plan that will help our state navigate this unprecedented international pandemic that is inflicting significant harm to our neighbors across California.” – Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D–La Cañada Flintridge)
“Our economy needs a booster shot that accelerates funding for housing, infrastructure, distance learning and critical programs for all families. We cannot rely solely on Washington to cure our economic woes. By investing in our future today, we can hasten California’s recovery and protect vital services.” – Senator Bob Wieckowski (D–Fremont)
“As the old adage goes: don’t let a crisis go to waste . . . now is the time to take decisive action to stimulate the California economy by investing in infrastructure with any eye toward a cleaner economy and addressing climate adaptation and resiliency Investment in California infrastructure is way overdue. This proposal will put Californians back to work. It is a win win!” – Assembly Speaker pro Tem Kevin Mullin (D–South San Francisco)
“As our economy oscillates between opening and closing to help manage the spread of the novel coronavirus, we need to do everything we can to insulate businesses and workers from the worst effects of that volatility, and this plan is a collaborative approach to do just that. A key component to managing those ups and downs is creating a real alternative to layoffs so employers can retain skilled workers and employees can avoid the loss of pay and benefits. That’s why I’m glad to see this plan prioritizes maximizing federal dollars to improve and expand California’s Work Share program.” – Assemblymember Tasha Boerner-Horvath (D–Encinitas)
“Among the many things California must do to stabilize our economy, preventing a massive wave of evictions and averting mortgage foreclosures is critical.” – Assemblymember David Chiu (D–San Francisco), Chair of the Assembly Housing & Community Development Committee
“We cannot count on Washington D.C. for anything these days. If we want solutions to the economic challenges created by COVID-19, we must have the resolve to create and fund them ourselves. Any legislative package we put forward must prioritize small and rural communities, which lack the local resources and reserves to mitigate the worst impacts of this pandemic. These communities were excluded from the assistance package in our nation’s capital, but must be remembered by the state.” – Assemblymember Adam Gray (D–Merced)
“Every day I hear from constituents who can’t sleep at night because they are uncertain about the future: about their jobs, their children’s education, and their homes. It is imperative that as this package comes together, we work to set California on a path to recovery that will leave no one behind.” – Assemblymember Tim Grayson (D–Concord)
“At an unprecedented time like this, we have an obligation to Californians to shape an economic recovery package that is meaningful. Housing and employment are priorities like never before.” – Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager (D–Los Angeles)
“This economic package will provide helpful relief for working families, as the number of unemployment cases continues to grow, and as small businesses struggle to remain open through this pandemic. We also understand that the need is great, and we must work to provide more assistance to the millions of Californians who are at risk of displacement. Our state government must take a bold stand as the federal government has failed to provide a comprehensive solution to help families stay in their homes.” – Assemblymember Monique Limón (D–Santa Barbara)
“A targeted economic recovery package is needed to help hard-working Californians stay afloat and rebound from COVID-19.” – Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento)
“We can turn this pandemic-induced economic crisis into an opportunity to invest in jobs and economic recovery by investing in broadband infrastructure. Access to internet for all is critical to meet the current challenges of distance learning, tele-health, and tele-work.” – Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance)
“Stabilizing small businesses is absolutely critical to the shape and speed of California’s economic recovery. Small businesses are the heart and soul of California’s economy – and they employ more than 95% of California’s workers. The pandemic has been devastating to small businesses all across our state; economists forecast as many as 40% of our small businesses could fail. We must help California’s small businesses survive now and position them to thrive as we emerge from this crisis.” – Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris (D–Laguna Beach)
“I am happy to be a part of the ongoing discussions with my colleagues to find a path forward for working families and those hardest hit by the pandemic. The sooner we can get our economy firing on all cylinders again the better it will be for all Californians.” – Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D–Bakersfield)
“In these unprecedented times, it’s clear that the State must think creatively to deliver effective relief to residents. Time is of the essence, and our goal as leaders is clear – we have to deliver a stimulus package that accelerates job growth, protects tenants and working families, prepares our state for wildfire season, and invests in education and the future of our younger generation.” – Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D–Oakland)