Senate Leader Atkins, Senator Mitchell Praise $400 Million Allocation of COVID-19 Relief to Aid Californians

October 21, 2020

SACRAMENTO – With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to adversely impact Californians, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego) and Senator Holly J. Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) praised a collaborative solution reached by the Joint Legislative Budget Committee and the Governor’s Office to allocate $400 million in funding for Project Homekey and legislative COVID-19 priorities, including child care, food banks, and diaper banks.

Specifically, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC)—a committee of the Senate and Assembly that is tasked with overseeing government expenditures—authorized Governor Gavin Newsom’s request to use $200 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds for Project Homekey, a state program that works with local entities to purchase and rehabilitate hotels, motels, and vacant buildings and convert them into housing units for Californians experiencing homelessness.

At the leadership of Senator Mitchell, who chairs the JLBC, the Senate advocated that funding also be allocated to help programs that have seen an increased need during the pandemic. Those legislative priorities were then included in the Governor’s request, and include $110 million for child care, $75 million for food banks, and $15 million for diaper banks.

“This $400 million in funding is proof that when the Senate, Assembly, and Governor work together and collaborate, we can arrive at a solution that will truly make a difference in the lives of Californians,” Senator Atkins said. “I am inspired by the leadership of my colleague, Senator Mitchell, and her determination in securing funding to help California families, as well as those experiencing homelessness. This money will go a long way to providing shelter, food, supplies, and safety – essentials for many individuals and families struggling to get through this pandemic.”

Senator Mitchell said the funding also highlights that the best approach for progress in California is when Legislature and Governor work together.

“This relief package will fulfill immediate needs for many Californians. As Chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, we put in serious heavy lifting to ensure our state’s vulnerable populations were not forgotten during the pandemic,” Senator Mitchell said. “My colleagues and I secured funding for those in need of childcare, diapers and food while getting people off the streets and into shelter. We have a long road ahead, but I know our current leadership is dedicated to creating a California where all can thrive.”


Joint Legislative Budget Committee Letter



Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins: