CA Gov. Gavin Newsom signs emergency legislation to mitigate COVID-19

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed emergency legislation Tuesday to prevent the spread of COVID-19, colloquially known as the coronavirus.

The legislation allocates $500 million from the General Fund and could authorize increases in funding up to $1 billion. This funding aims to increase hospital capacity, clean schools and help protect individuals who are more vulnerable. The measures were passed unanimously by members of the California State Legislature.

“It’s simply remarkable. In just one day’s time, members of the California Legislature came together across party lines to unanimously pass emergency legislation authorizing over $1 billion to fight COVID-19,” Newsom said in a press release. “This money will provide more hospital beds and medical equipment to help hospitals deal with the coming surge and it will help protect those who are most at risk. I am grateful to the Legislature for their quick action.”

More specifically, the legislation aims to increase hospital bed capacity and enable hospitals to purchase medical equipment that would help to mitigate COVID-19. It also intends to protect hospitals and nursing homes, among other facilities, that are vulnerable to the spread of COVID-19.

Through this funding, lifesaving services could be provided to residents who are staying at home.

Local governments could also be benefitted by the legislation, as it seeks to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among homeless individuals and to provide them with beds.

The measures will also provide funding to clean child care facilities.

As a part of the package, $100 million from Proposition 98 will be allocated to providing protective equipment and to clean schools that are still open. This, according to the press release, would enable schools to maintain funding amid the disruptions they face.

The legislation includes Senate Bill, or SB, 89, also known as the Budget Act of 2019, along with SB 177, which promotes education finance.

Mallika Seshadri is the city news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SeshadriMallika.