Federal Stimulus Impasse Endangers California Budget Relief

Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Publication: Politico

The cuts are already making their mark

A new infusion of federal aid looks increasingly unlikely to materialize in the coming weeks, dimming hopes that California will restore billions of dollars state leaders trimmed from the budget as part of an agreement with Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The final budget deal included more than $11 billion in cuts and deferrals that would be restored if the state receives $14 billion in federal Covid-19 relief by Oct. 15. The budget assumed the state would receive at least $2 billion from Congress through a new stimulus package.

But with less than three weeks to go, no such aid deal is in sight.

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What's next: Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) said he did not anticipate the Legislature taking further action this year on the budget and has not heard anything about the governor calling a special session. He said he is still holding out for Congress to strike a deal to help states and local governments.

"Fourteen billion is quite a lot — it’s really only the federal government that can assist us," he said. "Until we hit that deadline, I’m still hopeful."