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Local governments across California have seen their budgets gutted by the pandemic-induced recession, but they aren’t likely to have much luck turning to voters for a handout. A new Public Policy Institute of California poll found that voters are not in a giving mood when it comes to new bond and tax measures.

That follows an unprecedentedly bad year for city and school fiscal measures in the March election, with voters rejecting more than half of ballot box fundraisers for the first time in decades. So just how bad a situation is this for California’s cities and what other options do locals have?

CalMatters political reporter Ben Christopher will moderate a virtual discussion on Thursday, May 7, at 1 p.m. about how the pandemic is gutting California cities’ budgets.


  • San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer
  • John Dunbar, board president of the League of California Cities and Mayor of Yountville in Napa County

This virtual chat is part of our “Getting Through Coronavirus, Explained” series. Question for the panelists? You can submit yours on the form below.

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