A letter signed by all five states’ governors, all Democrats, was sent to Congress on Monday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced in his daily coronavirus briefing.
“But now, however, our states will be forced to make deep cuts to programs that help those same individuals without similar relief efforts for state and local governments,” they wrote, citing potential cuts to funding for health care, teachers, first responders and job training programs without federal support.
“That’s why we are respectfully, and urgently, requesting $1 trillion in direct and flexible relief to states and local governments,” the letter continues. “Though even this amount will not replace the decline in revenue that we forecast, it will make a meaningful difference in our ability to make-up for COVID-19 revenue losses.”
The governors added, “This aid would preserve core government services like public health, public safety, public education and help people get back to work. It would help our states and cities come out of this crisis stronger and more resilient.”
The request highlights a battle brewing on Capitol Hill over such funding. In a letter to colleagues Monday morning, Pelosi made clear her push to help states and cities, a figure she has previously floated could cost $1 trillion.
“We must act boldly to support state and local entities to address coronavirus-related outlays and lost revenue,” she told Democrats.
California alone is seeing record unemployment, with 4.5 million people filing claims just since March 12. The state has paid out $13.1 billion in unemployment insurance claims in that time, Newsom said Monday.
CNN’s Maeve Reston, Manu Raju, Clare Foran contributed to this report.