This week, the Governor released his $297 billion budget proposal. As suspected, the record revenues that contributed to last year’s $97 billion surplus have now subsided, and we are left with a projected $22.5 billion deficit, which could increase further, according to the Legislative Analyst Office (LAO).
Overspending with little accountability has become the status quo. It’s time to get serious about the real day-to-day issues affecting Californians and their families.
Here are some practical budget priorities that my colleagues and I have proposed to get our state back on track:
- Wildfire Prevention: Wildfires have been consuming our state in an ever-growing number and magnitude of incidents. We need to immediately invest in resources for year-round fire mitigation and fuel management projects.
- Water Storage: Despite record rainfall, we will never end the drought if we don’t address the need for water storage. Water infrastructure investments are long overdue and essential to providing our farmers and citizens with abundant, safe, and clean water.
- Public Safety: We need to ensure that law enforcement agencies have the resources needed to keep our communities safe as they continue to battle the fentanyl epidemic and the concerning rise of retail theft and violent crimes.
- Education: Schools and educators have endured the most challenging learning environments in recent history. We need to protect education funding and parents’ rights to choose where to enroll their children.
- Jobs and Economy: We need to pay down our $18 billion unemployment insurance debt instead of placing that burden on small businesses, which will bear the costs of repayment through higher taxes.
Californians deserve real results from their tax dollars.
This budget proposal will go through months of discussions and revisions until its finalization in June. I will work hard every step of the way to ensure that the priorities of our 32nd Senate District are represented.