L.A. is about to get a big cash infusion courtesy of the latest relief bill, and that’s good news for balancing the local budget. Also this morning: A Newsom recall election is looking like a forgone conclusion, more sparring between LASD and the Inspector General, and film productions are ramping back up. It’s Thursday. This is your news brief. Take it!
Morning News Rundown
The American Rescue Plan passed by Congress yesterday and set to be signed by President Biden will deliver $42 billion in aid to California, with $26 billion in relief for the state government and $1.35 billion going directly to Los Angeles. Mayor Eric Garcetti says he is “ecstatic” about the relief bill, which will help stabilize city finances and pay off debt built up over the course of the pandemic. [L.A. Times]
A recall election for Gov. Gavin Newsom is looking more certain as organizers behind the movement now claim to have collected more than 2 million signatures. The deadline to submit signatures is March 17, and a recall would be triggered if 1,495,709 valid signatures are received. [ABC 7]
At this week’s Board of Supervisors meeting, L.A. County Inspector General Max Huntsman said that opposition to reforms from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has become more aggressive over the past month. LASD released a statement on Wednesday denying Huntsman’s assertion. [ABC 7]
In a sign of rising business activity, requests for film production permits increased 43% in February compared to the month prior. Permit requests had been trending down since October, bottoming at just 543 in January. [Hollywood Reporter]
Pandemic or no pandemic, Los Angeles traffic remains among the worst in the country, according to an annual study by transportation analytics firm Inrix Inc. In 2020, L.A. claimed two of the worst traffic corridors in the nation and placed fifth overall as the most congested city. [ABC 7]
Yesterday, Kroger announced the temporary closure of three L.A.-area stores in response to the “hero pay” ordinance recently adopted by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors. The ordinance mandates a $5 per hour increase in pay for the next 120 days. Kroger previously closed two stores in Long Beach in response to a similar ordinance. [CBS Los Angeles]