Watch CBS News

Political Watchdog Calls For More State Transparency With Pandemic Costs

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Some are calling for more transparency from California with the costs to fight the coronavirus.

The old Sleep Train Arena, which was converted into a field hospital this month, gave jobs to more than 100 people who would otherwise be without work during the pandemic. In all the pomp and circumstance, no one mentioned how much it would cost taxpayers.

According to the contract, the price tag is $500,000 per month plus utilities, maintenance and security costs.

"The perception that they put forward doesn't seem to match what really happened," said Jon Coupal, President of Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

The political watchdog stopped short of calling it an intentional oversight, but says especially in a crisis, he calls on government leaders to be transparent.

"And to ask themselves what would the public really like to know what we're doing and certainly the expenditure of that kind of money they should know is something that the public would want to know," said Coupal.

READ: Board Votes To Cancel 2020 California State Fair Over Coronavirus

"I think we've been transparent both with Sacramento and other sites across the state," said Cal OES Deputy Director of Communications Brian Ferguson.

Ferguson says contracts, like the one with the Kings, is always available to the public and that costs are clear.

"I think it's pretty self-evident that if we're going to be setting up a 300-bed hospital there's going to be costs associated with that," said Ferguson.

Ferguson points out at least 75% of the state's COVID-19 efforts will be reimbursable.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.