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Western States Pact requests $1 trillion in federal relief funding

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that governors and legislators from five Western states wrote a joint letter to the federal government asking for $1 trillion in relief funding for state and local governments during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Governors and legislative chamber leaders from California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Colorado wrote the letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The letter from members of the Western States Pact called for at least $1 trillion to support basic government functions and services like public health, public safety and law enforcement and public education.

The officials said in the letter:

“Without federal support, states and cities will be forced to make impossible decisions — like whether to fund critical public health care that will help us recover, or prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers, firefighters and other first responders.”

The relief funding would also support services and programs like job training and assistance for small business owners that will help state and local economies recover from the pandemic-induced economic crises and recessions.

Newsom said during his daily coronavirus briefing Monday:

“It’s not just states asking for a bailout, quite the contrary. It’s requesting that we support those that we need the most at this time — our public safety officials, our public health officials — and making sure that we do justice to our public education system.”

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