Newsom Asks for Federal Relief Aid — After Record Surplus with Federal Money
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has asked the Biden administration to make federal aid available to California for flood relief, just months after billions of dollars in federal spending compounded the state’s budget surplus.
In a statement Sunday, Newsom said that he had requested a federal emergency declaration, which would make federal funds available, in the ongoing deluge that has dropped heavy rains across his drought-stricken state.
“I am requesting [Direct Federal Assistance] in order to meet critical emergency protection requirements in the form of personnel, mass care support, mass shelter support, mass evacuation support, equipment, and supplies,” Newsom wrote to the president.
Governors routinely ask for federal aid in emergencies. Yet California’s budget surplus was hardly routine: as Breitbart News reported, it reached nearly $100 billion, boosted in part by $26 billion from the federal government that was supposedly necessary to keep the state afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
Heading into 2022-23, however, the Golden State expects to plunge into a $25 billion deficit, thanks to lavish spending and to reduced revenues due to a slowdown in the economy.
The deficit would be covered by the additional federal aid that California had received from Biden already — had the state managed its resources more carefully. California does have a “rainy day” fund, ironically, which was launched by Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown, when the economy grew after the 2007-8 recession.