SAN DIEGO — Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a proclamation of a budget emergency for the state of California. According to the governor's office, the emergency will make additional resources available to fund the state’s ongoing emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Newsom's office added that this will "ensure the availability of funding for personal protective equipment, medical equipment and other expenditures to support a potential hospital.
According to the governor, Thursday’s proclamation clears the way for the Legislature to pass legislation allowing the state to draw from the state’s rainy day fund to help California during the COVID-19 crisis, which has triggered a global economic crisis and a $54.3 billion state budget deficit.
As part of negotiations with the Legislature, Gov. Newsom said he could withhold up to $2.5 billion in the upcoming state budget from local governments that fail to comply with mandates intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The funding threat comes as California sees a rise in the number of virus cases and hospitalizations, and some counties are openly flaunting Newsom's statewide order to wear masks. Much of the funding comes from the federal coronavirus aid package, intended to help local governments hit hard by the pandemic. Assemblyman James Gallagher, a Republican critic of the governor's orders, said Newsom is holding federal funds hostage.
During Thursday's update, Newsom gave newer coronavirus case numbers for the state. The number of positive cases in California dropped tremendously overnight. On Wednesday the state had 7,149 positives and on Thursday, the state reported 5,349 positive cases.
In regards to total hospitalizations, the number rose from the last 24 hours to 4,240 from 3,439. ICU numbers also rose slightly from 1,119 to 1,306.