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Why Some California Mayors Are Complaining About Their Share Of Federal CARES Act Money

A sign at a grab-and-go free meals distribution center. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)
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During the pandemic, California cities have lost about $7 billion. Tax revenue from businesses is way down, at a time when they've also had to spend money helping the community.

Cities were hoping to recoup those losses by getting a share of the federal CARES Act money that flowed to California.

But the way the state divided up that money has led mayors of dozens of cities to cry foul. They say the money they received doesn't come close to meeting their needs.

What resulted was a distribution that saw giant Los Angeles get $173 per resident, and Long Beach $85, but smaller cities got just over $12 per resident.

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Larger cities were given the money to tackle some of the bigger health and public safety problems exacerbated by the pandemic. However, the smaller cities’ mayors say their residents are no different in having to cope with job losses, food insecurity, missed rent payments and the need to convert city operations to Covid-safe protocols.


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