Newsom Taps Steyer, Ex-Governors To Lead Economic Recovery Panel

Tom Steyer
Photo credit USA Today/Imagn

Governor Gavin Newsom today declared that California is now in a recession caused by the coronavirus. The Governor has enlisted all four living former governors to help him figure out how to recover from the pandemic. 

For 120 straight months, the longest expansion on record, California was adding jobs and generating economic growth - not anymore. The March unemployment rate spiked from a record low of 3.8% to 5.3%, and that only includes a fraction of the 3.1 million Californians Governor Newsom says has filed for jobless benefits since March 12th.

“We are now in a pandemic-induced recession here in the State of California,” said Newsom, “while the new numbers came out today at 5.3% uneomployment, that masks the reality of where the real unemployment rate is here today and ultimataley will end up over the course of weeks and months.”

To address that recession the Governor is appointing an 80-person California Recovery Council, co-chaired by hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer and Newsom’s Chief of Staff Ann O’Leary. It also includes all of California’s living ex-governors: Jerry Brown, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gray Davis, and Pete Wilson. 

Meanwhile, Newsom says California is nowhere near ready to lift its shelter in place order after the state recorded 95 COVID-19 deaths in the previous 24 hours, the worst one-day toll yet.

“We need to continue to keep practicing physical distancing, we need to deeply apply the stay at home orders,” said Newsom, “we are not out of the woods yet.”