Congressman Doug LaMalfa requested California Governor Gavin Newsom to disburse $15.3 billion in federal funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to the counties and municipalities they were intended for. A recent report from the National League of Cities noted California as one of 32 states withholding this assistance.
LaMalfa said, “The findings of this report are deeply concerning. Governor Newsom and other states seem to be withholding federal funding, despite Congress’ clear directive that it be used to assist local governments during this crisis. As many counties in Northern California begin to re-open, they still face extreme budget deficits as a result of the pandemic. These funds weren’t given to states to help balance their budgets; they were given to help communities handle the unexpected costs of the pandemic. Governor Newsom must stop holding federal funds hostage and release this funding now.”
LaMalfa has consistently pressed state and federal leaders for fair consideration of small, rural jurisdictions when determining Coronavirus aid.
Earlier this year, LaMalfa sent a letter to Newsom recommending the creation for a streamlined process for small counties and towns to request funding from California’s $15.2 billion allotments of the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund.
Along with 18 of his Republican House colleagues, LaMalfa also sent a letter to President Trump asking for a fix to the statutory definition of a local government to protect counties, cities, and municipalities with fewer than 500,000 residents so they can directly receive aid rather than waiting for the governor’s discretion.
Additionally, LaMalfa joined a bipartisan group of his California House colleagues in sending a letter to House and Senate leaders addressing the lack of COVID-19 funding for small and midsize counties.