LAO Provides Update on COVID-19 Spending in California

On Thursday, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) published a report providing a high-level summary of state and federal funds expended to date in responding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The LAO’s report explores state and federal authorities for COVID-19 spending, state, federal, and other funding sources for COVID-19 spending, and the amounts of COVID-19 spending authorized to date. Notably, the report excludes funding allocated directly by local governments or money allocated by the federal government directly to local governments.

The LAO discusses emergency response actions taken by the president, Congress, the governor, and the California Legislature at the beginning of the pandemic. Types of COVID-19 spending are detailed in the report, totaling $30 billion for efforts to control the spread of COVID-19, facilitate physical distancing, support essential work, and mitigate secondary effects of the pandemic. Education and childcare received the most funding, while health and public health activities received slightly less.

The LAO lays out several issues for legislative consideration, particularly as the Legislature begins to consider budgetary and legislative action in the new year. The LAO poses a series of questions on whether COVID-19 spending to date aligns with the Legislature’s view of the state’s needs, whether allocations have been effective, and whether the spending plan aligns with the Newsom Administration’s overall plan to control the spread of the virus and mitigate its negative effects.

The full LAO report is available here.