Congressman Doug LaMalfa issued the following statement after sending a letter recommending California Governor Newsom create a streamlined process for small counties and towns to request funding from California’s estimated $15.3 billion allotment of the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
Currently, local governments above a 500,000 population threshold can receive 45 percent of their funding from the department of the treasury. Counties and towns below 500,000 in population must receive their funding directly from the state. Rather than acting as an arbiter of where that money goes, LaMalfa is requesting the state act as more of a pass-through, creating a process for the funding to be distributed to smaller, rural jurisdictions with ease.
“The state of California needs to be fair and even handed while every county, city, town and village is struggling to cope with this pandemic,” LaMalfa said. “Small and rural jurisdictions — which already operate on narrow budgets in normal years — need the capital that the CARES Act provides to address the virus at a local government level. Due to small staffing levels that local, rural governments often have, they face the highest barrier to being eligible or simply even processed. I urge governor Newsom to keep these smaller jurisdictions in mind and make the process simple to request their share of the Coronavirus Relief Fund.”