California Governor Newsom signs $7.6 billion stimulus package

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a coronavirus relief package on Tuesday. It will give at least $600 payments to 5.7 million people in the state. Watch his remarks.

Video Transcript

GAVIN NEWSOM: Thank you, Madam Pro Tem, thank you, Mr. Speaker. Thank you for your incredible leadership. I'll brag on that in just a moment. But I just want to recognize Andrea and the team here at Solomon's. It's great to be back. We were here in September signing some bills-- economic relief bills, bond acceleration bills, hiring tax credit of $100 million.

We put out a framework to allow new businesses to have that $800 franchise tax fee waived as well. We've seen a 21% increase in new business startups just in the last calendar year. So the issue of economic growth, economic development, economic incentives, tax credit supports for small businesses is not unique to this moment and these bills that we're signing today. It's been a cause that's united each and every one of us-- legislative leaders, and the legislature, and, of course, advocates across the spectrum here in the state of California.

The backbone of our economy is small business. We recognize the stress and the strain that so many small businesses have been under, and we recognize as well our responsibility to do more and do better to help support these small businesses through this very difficult and trying time. With that said, this $7.6 billion of direct relief that we're providing today not only helps support small businesses, but supports, as the pro tem said, some 5.7 million Californians with direct stimulus check relief-- not only in the EITC, but also people that have been beneficiaries of CalWORKS, SSI, SSIP, and the CAPI program.

We're also providing support in the way of not only direct checks to that cohort, but as the speaker rightfully noted, regardless of your status, those that have been left behind in that federal stimulus, California's not going to leave you behind. And I want to just congratulate the speaker and the pro tem for their leadership and their demonstrable example of making sure that we're there for the folks that have always been there for us.

I just got back from Arvin in Kern County, had the privilege of being in Modera some 12 or so hours ago-- farm workers, food workers never took a day off, never complained, and were there to make sure that everything was on your table and tables all across this country. And I'm very honored to be here today as governor of this state that's not leaving those folks behind as it relates to legislation that addresses their need and provide relief directly, not only to individuals, but households of mixed status.

And that's something, frankly, distinctive in this country. I don't know many other states or any other state that does what this state is doing. And for that, we are not ashamed. We are proud. And so I just want to acknowledge their leadership and the remarkable support that we saw, as the pro tem said, across the spectrum-- bipartisan support to advance this collective cause. So that cause, by the way, includes grants-- $5,000 to $25,000 grants for small businesses, nonprofits, cultural institutions, an additional $2.75 billion in grants that will start going out, building on the $500 million of grants that have already been going out supporting small business.

And I'll remind you-- grants, not loans-- a profoundly important distinction. So that's number one. Number two, we're providing relief in the way of fees and licenses. For two years, there'll be no cosmetology barbering licenses. There'll be no fees associated with those licenses or with alcohol beverage licenses. I'll give you an example-- the 59,000 businesses that have ABC licenses, some of those license fees are as much as $1,235.

We're waiving those fees not once, but over a two-year period in addition to these small business loans. That's the relief being provided in this package as well. The Golden State Stimulus is those dollars-- that direct relief check of $600 to those categories I mentioned. And in addition to that, we're doing more in food banks, we're doing more for people. Parents need diapers, they can't afford diapers. We're doing more to support our community college system with financial aid and grants $100 million.

Boy, we're not just doing that at community college, we're doing it the UC and CSU-- over $300 million at the CS-- well, UC $302 million, $299 million at the CSU of additional ongoing money for those conveyor belts for talent, second to none in the United States-- those extraordinary institutions. All of that part of this package. The reason it's $7.6 billion-- and the pro tem rightly said this-- is about a $10 billion package, is because she's right.

And in the next few days, we're going to conform those PPP loans, not only to the state or rather state taxes and making exceptions, but on expenses. And that's about a $2.3-plus billion commitment over a number of years that the state will be making, making this entire package just shy of $10 billion. That's big even by California's standards. So we're very proud to be here, honored for their leadership.

We moved quickly. We moved effectively, just as we did a few weeks ago on the issue of moratorium on evictions-- shows what we can do when working together across every conceivable difference-- not just geographic, but also political and ideological. And so that bipartisan spirit is what we're also looking forward to taking in as we work. And invariably, you're going to ask where we are with schools reopenings. We're working together on that and. We're not going to negotiate.

I know you'll attempt, get us to try to negotiate all three of us together today-- I don't mean to be spokespeople for the speaker or the pro tem-- they can speak for themselves. But I don't intend to negotiate here today. All I can say is we've been negotiating for many, many weeks now. And that spirit that brings us here today getting things done is the spirit we're bringing into those negotiations on schools as well.

Final brief points-- when we talk about light, I'm talking about bright light at the end of this tunnel. I've been all over the state of California over the last few weeks, seen it firsthand. We're seeing vaccination rates increase across this state. We've surpassed the country of Israel in total number of doses that have been administered-- now over 7.4 million doses have been administered. We've been averaging just shy about 200,000 doses every single day.

The only constraint is manufactured supply. We're not getting enough into the state of California-- 1.4 million arriving at the end of this week, 1.52 million arriving at the end of next week. We can do well over 200,000 a day-- so the only constraint is manufactured supply. Issue of equity is not a platitude, it's not a platform, it's not a promise. It's one we're really starting to deliver on with pop-up sites and regional efforts to really identify the most vulnerable and those that deserve more of our time and attention in terms of the cultural competency and the in-language outreach that's necessary to truly meet people where they are, not just these mass vaccination sites where people have cars and the tools of technology to get in line and to get ahead of others.

And so our commitment, our resolve, that's an ongoing effort. But real progress is taking shape there. And in closing as well on this pandemic, today we'll announce five additional counties moving out of the purple tier into the red tier. We will preview eight other counties that likely will be pulling out a week later, and even more still in two weeks. This is moving-- stabilize case rates, stabilize positivity rates.

Positivity 7-day down to 3.0%, 14 days, 3.3%, case rates down to 3,500 today. Just think about one month ago today, it was 23,000 down to 3,500 today. Hospitalizations down 41%, ICUs down 40% just in the last two weeks. Deaths-- we had a record number of deaths a month ago yesterday. And now, we have death rates about a third of what it was-- tragically, still too high, but compared to where we were just 30 days ago.

So when we talk about light at the end of the tunnel, again, I talk about a bright light. We're going to work through these next few weeks, next few months till we get to that herd immunity, get that manufactured supply, get these businesses fully operational, and provide this relief that's so desperately needed to millions and millions of Californians. And for that, I'm proud to be a Californian today and proud of the leadership that is assembled in this state, led by our speaker and our pro tem.

So with that, we are happy to take any questions. And I'm encouraged that the leaders are here. So we're not the only ones having to take questions. Oh. We should sign the bills-- the reason we're here. So let's do that first.

So we've got six bills we're signing today. We're going to go through the bill numbers, but you've got to [INAUDIBLE] The seventh on [INAUDIBLE] Speaker, thank you very much.