Rich Pedroncelli | AP IMAGES
Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced new initiatives with the Employment Development Department to help support the millions of Californians who are unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Newsom sent out a serious of tweets describing the details of his decision as seen below.
2.7 million Californians have filed for unemployment in the last month.
Today I signed an executive order that will extend our EDD call center hours from 8AM-8PM, 7 days a week, to help process requests and get you the benefits you need as soon as possible.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) April 15, 2020
He continued tweeting saying, “We are also working to ensure the new federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (which includes coverage for our independent contractors out of work due to #COVID19) gets issued within 24-48 hours — not the traditional 21 days.”
In an executive order released from Newsom’s office, it was also announced that, “The Unemployment Insurance Branch will be upstaffed with 1,340 employees, including 740 EDD employees and 600 employees from across state government. The Governor also directs EDD to expedite access to the Work Share program to avert layoffs.”
Newsom acknowledged the importance of the EDD and PUA stating, “Many Californians are one paycheck away from losing their homes or from being able to put food on their tables, and COVID-19 has only made these challenges worse…California is focused on getting relief dollars and unemployment assistance in the hands of those who need it as quickly as possible.”
In addition, Gavin Newsom announced an unprecedented $125 million in disaster relief assistance for working Californians saying, “This first in the nation, statewide public-private partnership will provide financial support to undocumented immigrants impacted by COVID-19. California will provide $75 million in disaster relief assistance and philanthropic partners have committed to raising an additional $50 million.”
As he continued, he reminded the audience that California is here to help every single person who lives in the state, whether a neighbor, friend or undocumented individual.
The $75 million Disaster Relief Fund will, “Support undocumented Californians impacted by COVID-19 who are ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits and disaster relief, including the CARES Act, due to their immigration status. Approximately 150,000 undocumented adult Californians will receive a one-time cash benefit of $500 per adult with a cap of $1,000 per household to deal with the specific needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals can apply for support beginning next month.”
Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and President of Emerson Collective defended the fund stating, “During this moment of national crisis, undocumented immigrants are risking their own health on behalf of the rest of us, saving lives as health care workers; caring for our loved ones; and growing much of the food we depend on.”
It is still unclear when businesses will be able to reopen, but until then California is working to keep the state afloat.