Governor Gavin Newsom’s Task Force includes more than 90 California business leaders from Disney Chairman Bob Iger, the CEO of Netflix, and Apple CEO Tim Cook. On Friday, the task force sent a letter to US Congressional leaders calling on them to urge Congres to take action and pass a $1 trillion aid bill for state and local government.
The letter says that the worst of COVID19 is still to come and said that funds that Congress could pass could not only help the economy but also help programs such as contact tracing, the letter says:
“Reopening our economies is a welcome step forward, but the success of our efforts ultimately relies on building greater confidence among consumers that it is safe to shop and greater certainty for workers that the services they rely on to do their jobs will remain in place. Without that, we will be a re-opened economy in name only.”
The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on Friday but is expected to die in the Republican-majority Senate, if it does pass, President Trump has threatened to veto it. You can read the full letter here, or below.
Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy and Leader Schumer:
Thank you for your leadership during this unprecedented crisis. As members of the California Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery, we are non-political leaders from different sectors of the economy with the same goal: protecting the health of the 40 million Americans who call our state home and laying the foundation for California’s – and America’s – economic recovery. We write to you in our individual capacities and not on behalf of our firms and organizations.
COVID-19 has fundamentally changed how we will manage our businesses and organizations going forward, with the worst of the economic impact likely still to come. Reopening our economies is a welcome step forward, but the success of our efforts ultimately relies on building greater confidence among consumers that it is safe to shop and greater certainty for workers that the services they rely on to do their jobs will remain in place. Without that, we will be a re-opened economy in name only.
State, local and tribal governments are critical to our recovery. In the short-term, they must be able to scale-up necessary programs, like contact tracing and testing. Given budget shortfalls, they are also soon facing impossible decisions – like whether to fund additional safety measures related to COVID-19 that will help businesses reopen more quickly or prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other first responders. Without additional assistance from the federal government, the very programs that will help people get back to their lives and get back to work – from childcare to job training to small business support – will all be forced up on the chopping block.
We deeply appreciated the quick financial assistance Congress provided workers, businesses and those who have been displaced by this unprecedented crisis. But now, because of the sudden drop in economic activity, many states, including California, will be forced to make deep cuts to programs that help those same individuals. We stand with business leaders throughout the nation, from both sides of the aisle, who have respectfully and urgently requested that Congress direct $1 trillion in direct and flexible relief to states, tribes and local governments. It will protect core government services like public health, public safety, public education and help people get back to work. This funding will help our states and cities – and America’s economy – come out of this crisis stronger and more resilient.
We urge you to have Congress take swift action and thank you once again for your leadership in this national crisis.
Governor’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery