By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy
Sometimes $1.4 billion just isn’t enough. Just ask California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
During the pandemic, Newsom and the state legislature gave $1.4 billion to more than 2.2 million households struggling to pay their overdue pandemic-era utility bills.
The governor “doubled down” earlier this month, ordering an additional $1.4 billion from the state budget before the end of the year to cover more overdue utility bills, “for those who are still struggling amid rising costs,” Newsom said in a press release.
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It’s unclear what the governor’s office constitutes as “struggling” and who is eligible to have their overdue utilities covered.
The governor’s announcement said $1.2 billion will pay for residential electric bills through the Department of Community Services and Development, and $200 million will go to residential water and wastewater bills – on top of the $116 million in federal funding for water and wastewater debts.
This spending is part Newsom’s financial relief package to help support Californians who are dealing with higher costs.
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The new spending comes after last year’s “Golden State Stimulus,” which gave $9 billion to millions of California families, and billions more that went to help pay rent, cover overdue utility bills, and support small businesses, the governor’s office said.
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The first round of $1.4 billion utility relief included $989 million to help pay electric and gas utility bills for more than 1.4 million households and commercial customers, and another $435 million for unpaid water bills for more than 800,000 residential and commercial customers.
Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.
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