California Governor Newsom Announces Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery

COVID-19 Update

Task Force to Focus on Fast and Fair Recovery

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the creation of the Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery to aid in crafting strategies and solutions for recovery from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state is experiencing devastating unemployment, currently estimated at 5.3% and projected to go even higher. The most recent tally indicates 3 million Californians have filed for unemployment insurance since March 12. The Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery will be led by former presidential candidate and environmental investor Tom Steyer and co-chaired by Ann O’Leary, Governor Newsom’s chief of staff and former senior advisor to President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Clinton.

The task force will meet twice a month throughout 2020 and “will craft ideas for short, medium, and long-term solutions that reflect communities across the state, and emphasize a fair and equitable recovery.” The Governor indicated that the 80-member task force will be divided into multiple subgroups focusing on industry areas such as entertainment, hospitality, retail, manufacturing, financial services and healthcare, as well as geographical and regional areas including the Central Valley, Northern California, Southern California and the Central Coast.

A Who’s Who of Business, Labor, Academia and Political Leaders Agree to Serve

The task force’s 80 members include all four living former California Governors, the Democratic and Republican leaders of the State Assembly and State Senate, former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, and “dozens of prominent leaders in business, labor, health care, academia and philanthropy.” According to Governor Newsom, the goal of the task force is to “bring together Californians from across a diverse range of the state’s economy to develop recommendations for a plan that works for all Californians, with a focus on the regions and communities hardest hit by the pandemic.”

The task force is expected to collaborate with the existing Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors, the Higher Education Council and the Future of Work Commission. 

Work of New Task Force Complements Newsom’s Coordination With Oregon and Washington on Reopening the West Coast

The appointment of the Task Force follows Governor Newsom’s commitment to work with Oregon and Washington “on a shared approach for reopening our economies—one that identifies clear indicators for communities to restart public life and business.” The coordination effort assumes each state will develop its own economic recovery plan, and the work of the task force is critical to that effort in California.

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