Assemblymember Robert Rivas Responds to Governor Newsom’s May Revised Budget, Says Federal Government Must “Step Up” To Help States

Thursday, May 14, 2020

SACRAMENTO - On May 14, 2020, Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) responded to Governor Newsom’s 2020-21 May Revision budget proposal to the Legislature, pledging to advocate for the 30th Assembly District and calling on the Federal Government to increase its aid to states. The Governor’s proposal responds to the dramatic economic and revenue impacts of COVID-19 and forecasts a $54.3 billion deficit – necessitating painful cuts to state programs, a 10% pay cut for state workers, and the cancellation of new state initiatives. 

The $203 billion proposal is nearly 9% smaller than the budget plan Newsom laid out in January, and it relies on cash reserves, as well as federal stimulus funds that have not yet materialized, to minimize reductions. Without more money from the Federal Government, an additional $14 billion in cuts would be triggered.

Rivas said, “California faces a severe budget shortfall due to the hardships caused by COVID-19. Our State Constitution requires us to pass a balanced budget, which means that some programs must be cut in whatever budget the Legislature ultimately passes. As we face this difficult reality, I will work tirelessly to protect our District and direct resources to assist those who need it most.”  

“We can’t eliminate cuts, but we can greatly reduce the pain of these cuts with the help of federal aid,” said Rivas. “I support Governor Newsom’s request – along with the governors of Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, and Washington – for $1 trillion in federal relief to help states preserve core government services like public health, public safety, public education, and to help people get back to work. The Federal Government must step up to help states cover their budget shortfalls during this crisis.” 

In his budget summary, Governor Newsom emphasized the need to focus on “our most essential priorities—public health, public safety and public education—and to support workers and businesses, especially small businesses, who are the lifeblood of our economy.” The budget proposal also includes $43.8 billion for Unemployment Insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, as well as other COVID-19 relief.

“Over the last two months, I have been working closely with elected officials from all levels of government to provide relief for every resident of the 30th Assembly District, including especially the most vulnerable,” said Rivas. “I pledge to continue my efforts as our State navigates this challenging time. It will take all of us working together – from local volunteers and business owners to the State and Federal Government – to recover from the economic effects of this pandemic.”

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Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) represents California’s 30th Assembly District, which includes all or portions of the cities and towns of Aromas, Big Sur, Chualar, Gilroy, Greenfield, Gonzales, Hollister, King City, Morgan Hill, Salinas, San Martin, San Juan Bautista, Soledad, Spreckels, and Watsonville.
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