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According to the Orange County Register, “in the past three weeks, 2.17 million filings were made vs. a total of 2.11 million in the previous 52 weeks. California had 840,000 officially unemployed in February with a 4.3% jobless rate. If all the recent claimants are added to the jobless tally,  my trusty spreadsheet says California’s unemployment rate will hit 15%. Statewide joblessness peaked at 12% in the Great Recession.”

Now Democrats are calling for an additional $13 per hour on top of their pay to state workers. “Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has identified the proposal as a top priority for Democrats, but the measure doesn’t yet have any Republican co-sponsors, according to NPR.”  

It looks like California Democrats are taking to heart the words of former Obama Chief of Staff: “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”  

The Sacramento Bee reports that Yvonne Walker, president of the SEIU Local 1000, one of the largest donors to California Democrats agrees with the Democrat proposal: “I think it is absolutely the right conversation to have.” Walker said the discussion around additional pay should include people such as custodians, EDD workers, EDD call centers and others. 

As California continues battling with the coronavirus, 40 million people are being asked to shelter in place. Hundreds of thousands of businesses are closed down. The focus of our efforts should be to provide assistance to our most vulnerable populations: our seniors and disabled, our unemployed and California’s small business community. 

California Democrats should be looking at a way to expand mental health and stress relief programs. To figure out ways to get online learning for our kids. To develop more strategies for fattening the curve – NOT to feather the nest of their largest political donor with taxpayer dollars that should be going to help those trying to survive.  

Money is tight right now, it should go for essential needs, not some type of political kickback. 

Photo: AP Photo/Rick Bowmer