With Trump’s signature, here’s the COVID relief funding expected to flow into California
President Trump signed the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package on Sunday, clearing the way for over $50 billion in estimated federal funding to come into California. Gov. Newsom outlined the aid likely to flow into the state during a press conference last week.
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The majority of the funding into California is slated for unemployment assistance. Based on payments of $300 per week over the course of 11 weeks, Newsom estimates $20 billion will come into California for unemployment.
The $600 direct stimulus checks to lower-income Californians, which was a key sticking point in Trump’s reluctance to sign the relief bill, will bring about $17 billion into the state.
Of the $25 billion in rental assistance included in the relief bill, Newsom expects to see about $2 billion slated for California.
“We were all waiting with bated breath about the need to see something big and bold happen on rental assistance. I’m not sure this is as big and bold as we had hoped for, but it is nonetheless significant,” Newsom noted.
He says he is working with the state legislature to extend the state’s eviction moratorium past February 1.
Directly related to the pandemic, the relief bill includes $69 billion for COVID testing, tracing, and vaccine distribution – about $1.3 million of the total is anticipated for California. This funding is among several health-related provisions included in the bill.
Newsom also expects to see $8.5 billion for education, $1 billion for childcare, and $2 billion for transportation.
The newly-signed federal relief bill also includes a total of $325 billion in small business relief with $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program. Newsom did not report the aid amount specifically expected in California, but he says his budget proposal, which is “literally at the printer,” will include significant small business support.
In his presentation, Newsom warned that these are simply initial estimates.
“These are back of the envelope estimates, but I wanted to at least give people a sense of roughly what we anticipate here in California to be the benefits of the federal COVID relief,” said Newsom. “They are significant. They’ll need to do more in the future, but nonetheless, they are significant.”
Noticeably missing from the funding packages is direct aid to state and local governments. During negotiations, Democrats sought $160 billion for state and local aid but it failed to make it into the final bill.
Newsom now faces a January 10 deadline to submit his budget proposal to the legislature. He says he will work with the state lawmakers to make sure the state takes quick actions to address Californians’ needs.
“What comes from the federal government does not end the story. It’s the beginning of the support including the small-business supports and the medium size business supports, rental assistance, eviction assistance, all of that, which we are responsible for as a nation state,” said Newsom. “We have outstanding legislative leadership that is very focused on this, very committed to this. We are working overtime to see if we can advance some early decisions and make some pointed movement…we hope to take some early action.”