Over Half the California Legislature Supports Keep California Working Act

SACRAMENTO – The Keep California Working Act (SB74 Borgeas-Caballero) has recently attracted an even stronger coalition of statewide legislative support. As of today, 63 out of 120 California legislators, more than half the Legislature, have signed on to the bill, which would invest $2.6 billion of California’s unanticipated revenue in one-time grants for small businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19.

Senate Bill 74, with 36 Democrat and 27 Republican sponsors, is a true bipartisan and bicameral small business relief package jointly authored by Senators Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno) and Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), and principally co-authored by Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). And while Governor Gavin Newsom’s additional request of $575 million to the grant relief program is a step in the right direction, more capital investment is needed to keep California’s job creators afloat. SB 74 also contains an urgency clause to go into effect immediately upon approval.

“California’s small businesses and nonprofits cannot wait any longer for relief,” said Senator Borgeas. “The fast-growing, bipartisan coalition for the Keep California Working Act demonstrates the immediacy of this need throughout the entire state. If small businesses are suffering because they are following COVID-19 protocols, then it is imperative that California provide relief to those that are struggling.”

“I am happy to see such a strong, bipartisan coalition of support continuing to grow,” said Senator Caballero. “I think this speaks to the statewide urgency of helping our small businesses and nonprofits weather the COVID-19 storm. We’ve asked them to make sacrifices for the greater good, and now it’s time for us to provide the relief that they deserve.”

Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) Recommends More

While SB 74 proposes $2.6 billion in economic relief, a report published by the Legislature’s nonpartisan policy advisor entitled The 2021-22 Budget: California’s Fiscal Outlook recommends that “…the Legislature use the other half of the windfall – about $13 billion – on one-time purposes, focusing on activities that mitigate the adverse economic and health consequences of the public health emergency.”

Editorial Boards on SB 74

The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board: “…a large bipartisan group of legislators is pushing for $2.6 billion [SB 74], with a higher maximum grant to match the scale of the need. We agree, though even that sum will probably not be enough to help every business and nonprofit that needs it.”

The Modesto Bee Editorial Board: “Legislation aiming to provide a lot more COVID-19 relief money for small California businesses and nonprofits is impressive for drawing support from Republicans and Democrats alike. And, Stanislaus County people can brag because Senate Bill 74’s champions are our own Senate representatives.”

The Fresno Bee Editorial Board: “The concept is sound and the need is great. Now it is up to Borgeas, Caballero and their colleagues to make it become actual dollars for small businesses.”

Below is a complete list of legislators who have signed on to the bill:

Senators Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno) and Anna Caballero (D-Salinas) have joint authored the measure, and Senate co-authors include Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera), Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel), Josh Becker (D-San Mateo), Dave Cortese (D-San Jose), Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), Susan Eggman (D-Stockton), Lena Gonzalez (D-Long Beach), Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield), Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger), Brian Jones (R-Santee), Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara), Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore), Dave Min (D-Irvine), Jim Nielsen (R-Tehama), Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa), Richard Roth (D-Riverside), Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), Henry Stern (D-Calabasas), Tom Umberg (D-Orange County), Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), and Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita).

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach) is a principal co-author of the measure, and Assembly co-authors include Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters), Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda), Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals), Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood), Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park), Phillip Chen (R-Brea), Steven S. Choi (R-Irvine), Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo), Megan Dahle (R-Bieber), Tom Daly (D-Anaheim), Laurie Davies (R-Laguna Niguel), Heath Flora (R-Ripon), Vince Fong (R-Bakersfield), Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), James Gallagher (R-Yuba City), Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), Mike Gipson (D-Carson), Sydney Kamlager (D-Los Angeles), Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego), Devon Mathis (R-Visalia), Chad Mayes (I-Yucca Valley), Adrin Nazarian (D-Van Nuys), Janet Nguyen (R-Garden Grove), Jim Patterson (R-Fresno), Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton), James C. Ramos (D-Highland), Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona), Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield), Kelly Seyarto (R-Murrieta), Thurston “Smitty” Smith (R-Apple Valley), Suzette Martinez Valladares (R-Santa Clarita), Carlos Villapudua (D-Stockton), Randy Voepel (R-Santee), Marie Waldron (R-Escondido), and Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland).

For the current text of the Keep California Working Act, click here.