Fifteen Counties, CalChamber, CalNonprofits, California Restaurant Association, CA Farm Bureau, Editorial Boards and More Join Coalition
SACRAMENTO – The Keep California Working Act (SB74 Borgeas-Caballero) has recently attracted an even stronger coalition of support. More than 80 chambers of commerce, cities, counties and associations located throughout California are lending their support to the bill, which would invest $2.6 billion of California’s unanticipated revenue in one-time grants for small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19.
Senate Bill 74, with 36 Democrat and 27 Republican sponsors, is a true bipartisan and bicameral small business relief package jointly authored by Senators Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno) and Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), and principally co-authored by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). Sixty-three out of 120 California legislators, or more than half the Legislature, have signed on to the Keep California Working Act.
And while Governor Gavin Newsom’s additional request of $575 million to the grant relief program is a step in the right direction, more capital investment is needed to keep California’s job creators afloat. SB 74 also contains an urgency clause to go into effect immediately upon approval.
“California’s small businesses and nonprofits cannot wait any longer for relief,” said Senator Borgeas. “The fast-growing, bipartisan coalition for the Keep California Working Act demonstrates the immediacy of this need throughout the entire state. If small businesses are suffering because they are following COVID-19 protocols, then it is imperative that California provide relief to those that are struggling.”
“I am happy to see such a strong, bipartisan coalition of support continuing to grow,” said Senator Caballero. “I think this speaks to the statewide urgency of helping our small businesses and nonprofits weather the COVID-19 storm. We’ve asked them to make sacrifices for the greater good, and now it’s time for us to provide the relief that they deserve.”
Statewide Coalition Grows
The Keep California Working Act has garnered significant support from statewide associations and advocacy groups. Noteworthy supporters include the California Chamber of Commerce, California Association of Nonprofits, the California Building Industry Association, the California Restaurant Association, and the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
Fifteen California counties have also joined the list: Fresno County, Humboldt County, Kern County, Lake County, Madera County, Mono County, Monterey County, Sacramento County, San Benito County, San Luis Obispo County, Santa Cruz County, Shasta County, Stanislaus County, Tuolumne County, and Yuba County.
Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) Recommends More
While SB 74 proposes $2.6 billion in economic relief, a report published by the Legislature’s nonpartisan policy advisor entitled The 2021-22 Budget: California’s Fiscal Outlook recommends that “…the Legislature use the other half of the windfall – about $13 billion – on one-time purposes, focusing on activities that mitigate the adverse economic and health consequences of the public health emergency.”
Editorial Boards on SB 74
The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board: “…a large bipartisan group of legislators is pushing for $2.6 billion, with a higher maximum grant to match the scale of the need.”
The Modesto Bee Editorial Board: “Legislation aiming to provide a lot more COVID-19 relief money for small California businesses and nonprofits is impressive for drawing support from Republicans and Democrats alike. And, Stanislaus County people can brag because Senate Bill 74’s champions are our own Senate representatives.”
The Fresno Bee Editorial Board: “The concept is sound and the need is great. Now it is up to Borgeas, Caballero and their colleagues to make it become actual dollars for small businesses.”