Assemblyman James Ramos

Problems are solved by facing them squarely. Last week, Gov. Newsom outlined the magnitude of the state’s deficit and proposed a multiyear, strategic approach that works to protect the most vulnerable, students, and our public health and safety systems. The Legislature now begins the work of reviewing his drastically transformed budget and delivering a balanced spending in June.

My colleagues and I will also focus on assisting the small businesses, workforce and economic development programs that make California the world’s fifth largest economy. Those small businesses are the engine that will get us through this emergency, but only if we provide the assistance they need.

It is why I am a joint author of the California Works and Recovery Act, AB 1842. It is designed to help local communities create jobs through infrastructure projects, ensure adequate healthcare workforces in high shortage areas, fund wildfire mitigation efforts and expand the California Competes Tax Credit for businesses hit by COVID-19. This Recovery Act will not only create jobs but also help California emerge with stronger hospitals, wildfire protection, and other infrastructure systems than it enjoyed before COVID-19.

I am also working on legislation, AB 1552, to move forward the discussion to clarify, expedite and streamline the process to recover payment for losses through their business interruption insurance. Speedy resolution of claims will help stabilize struggling businesses during this time and help in retaining employees.

Critically needed moving forward is federal assistance to the states. Without that assistance, California and the other 49 states will suffer hardship not endured since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

We will get through this crisis through strategic use of our many strengths — diversity, creativity and economic power and our 40 million strong population.

The California Works and Recovery Act would:

•Fund infrastructure projects for immediate job creation.

•Provide recovery grants for local housing, transportation and community “shovel ready” development projects.

•Increase health care workforce in high shortage areas.

•Invest in hospitals for seismic retrofits.

•Fund additional wildfire mitigation efforts and jobs.

•Expand CA Competes Tax Credit for businesses hit by COVID-19.

•Provide assistance for food banks.