Following the Senate’s lead, the Assembly held a budget subcommittee hearing this week to review the administration’s response to the crisis. While much of the long hearing focused on funding the healthcare response, some members wanted more details on the economic recovery plan.
Republican Vince Fong of Bakersfield asked about providing financial assistance to the agricultural and energy industries in his region. He hoped the administration would use more emergency funding from Senate Bill 89 – beyond the current $20 million – to purchase agricultural products for food banks.
The response from the finance department was that the governor’s new 80-member task force on recovery will develop recommendations “in the next 60 days” on what the administration will do to jumpstart the recovery.
Fong also argued the administration was still taking regulatory actions that were “making it more difficult to stay in business in California.” He specifically said Newsom’s lawsuit over the federal biological opinions and the administration’s new plan for the State Water Project are risking water that could help valley farmers during the economic crisis.
Assemblymember Richard Bloom of Santa Monica pointed out that “small business is not really reflected in that task force.” The industry organizations on the list tend to be some of the state's largest.
Top Photo: Subcommittee Chair Phil Ting wearing a colorful face mask as the committee meets.
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