California’s dire financial picture

Grand Central Market in downtown LA is largely empty of customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Gov. Gavin Newsom said this week that the state could face a $54 billion shortfall without federal aid. Photo by Ted Soqui for KCRW.

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday implored the federal government to send money to California and other states. 

“The enormity of the task at hand cannot just be borne by a state. The federal government has a moral and ethical and economic obligation to support the states. After all, what is the point of government, if not to protect the people, their safety, and the well-being of citizens?” he said. 

Newsom said without federal help, California could face a $54 billion shortfall. It’s a rapid financial collapse, with California going from a comfortable budget surplus to a massive deficit in about eight weeks.