On Thursday, Representative Josh Harder (D-Stanislaus) announced an effort to secure federal funding for the state’s beleaguered fairs. Noting the “challenges of running fairs during the pandemic and resulting revenue loss”, Representative Harder introduced the “Protecting Fairs During Coronavirus Act” and noted that in a typical year fairs generate approximately $3.5 billion in revenue and provides nearly $200 million in tax revenue for local and state governments. His legislation is designed to provide financial support to fairs dealing with the COVID-related havoc on fair budgets. Representative Harder’s recent press release on the introduction of the Protecting Fairs During Coronavirus Act is available here.

In the same vein, Representative Jimmy Panetta (D-Monterey) is planning to introduce a similar measure at the behest of the national fair representatives.

Both Congressional bills are designed as grant programs to be administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture directly to applicant fairs. The measures differ in size: Representative Harder’s proposal would provide $5 billion, while Mr. Panetta’s measure is a more modest “ask” of $200 million. Both authors are hoping to persuade their colleagues, including Senator Feinstein and Senator Harris, to include the provisions of their respective measures in the next round of the COVID-related relief funding package.