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Message from League Executive Director Carolyn Coleman on Coronavirus Response

September 9, 2020
Dear California City Leaders,

The state Legislature adjourned their legislative session during the early morning hours on Sept. 1, while League staff and President John Dunbar watched on a Zoom call together as the clock ran out on the deadline to pass bills. Gov. Gavin Newsom must now decide whether to sign or veto the hundreds of bills on his desk by midnight on Sept. 30. The League has identified priority bills for action by the Governor and will be working hard to make sure local interests are protected, but we need your help in order to be successful. Visit the League’s website for more information on the bills we want to see the Governor sign and which ones we’re asking him to veto. Remember, your voice counts!
Yesterday, members of Congress returned to Washington, D.C., from their annual summer recess where they are also facing a Sept. 30 deadline. They must pass spending bills by then to avoid a government shutdown. Congress also returned to wrangling over the next coronavirus relief package with the Senate Majority Leader unveiling a slimmed-down relief bill that would spend around $500 billion on small businesses, enhanced unemployment insurance, childcare, the post office, coronavirus testing, and schools, but no funding for states or local governments. While the bill is expected to get a vote later this week, it faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Senate and would be a non-starter in the Democrat-controlled House. 
Regardless of what happens with the Senate Majority Leader’s bill, the League will continue to push for House and Senate members to get back to the negotiating table. What hasn’t changed since they left for recess in early August is the need for $500 billion in direct and flexible federal assistance for local governments nationwide. Our communities have stepped up, and now we need Washington to do the same. Our residents are depending on it. 
Thank you to all of the city officials for your leadership during these unprecedented and challenging times. We are stronger together, and we will get through this, together.

Be safe and stay healthy.
Carolyn M. Coleman
Executive Director
League of California Cities

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