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Federal stimulus money offers political upside for governors

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Millions of savings accounts for children seeded with $500 each. Delinquent water bills wiped away. Checks cut to thousands of small businesses.

The rapid-fire rollout this week of Gov. Newsom’s state budget proposal lays out a vision of expansive government aid — a plan turbocharged by the COVID stimulus bill championed by President Biden.

The California governor is not alone in opening the spending spigots. With a total of $350 billion in federal stimulus flowing to state and community coffers, governors, legislators and local politicians across the country are facing an unprecedented opportunity to advance their policy priorities — and reap the political benefit.

The aid is a key component in the $1.9-trillion COVID relief bill that is so far the defining initiative of Biden’s presidency. But state and local leaders see opportunity to enhance their own legacies as well. For governors eyeing tough reelection battles next year — or, in the…

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