Assemblymember Garcia Commends Governor Brown’s Initial 2018-2019 Budget Proposal

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Local Legislator weighs in on the introduction of the 2018-2019 CA Budget

 

(SACRAMENTO, CA) Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) has released the following statements on Governor Brown’s initial 2018-2019 state budget proposal:

 

“I commend Governor Brown on his steadfast commitment to producing a thoughtful, inclusive and fiscally responsible budget to meet California’s current and future needs. This proposed $190.3 billion budget will leave us with $15.8 billion in total reserves; largest reserve in our state’s history. There are a lot of positive examples to point to that stem from the success of our prior legislative initiatives; for that I thank the residents of the 56th Assembly District for all their input, collaboration and support. This year, I look forward to working with my fellow legislators, in the committee process, to identify additional resources for our local communities. Particularly, we are going to pursue money for the Salton Sea as well as the expansion of education, economic and healthcare opportunities,” stated Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia. 

 

Healthcare Access:

 

“Across the board, access to healthcare continues to be one of our most pressing issues; federally, statewide and here locally. This proposal includes essential coverage increases to low-income Californians, under the Affordable Care Act as well as the restoration of various health benefits that had been eliminated during the recession, including low-income adult dental services.”

 

“This year, health will be at the top of my legislative priority list. Healthcare should be considered a basic human right, yet communities in my district are medically underserved. Not only are our residents facing coverage shortfalls but the entire region is experiencing a physician shortage. We need to work to expand our resources as well as attract and incentivize doctors to our disadvantaged, rural areas.”  

 

Early Childhood Education/K-12/Higher Education:

 

“This budget would extend $3 billion into our K-12 Local Control Funding Formula. These resources are critical to student success as well as our future economic prosperity. The local accountability plans will help ensure that this support reaches our most disadvantaged areas and pupils; including students from low-income families, English learners and youth in foster care.”

 

“Our state’s community colleges serve 2.1 million students. As a proud product of our local community college system, I am excited to see the $570 million total increase for community colleges with $46 million set aside to implement the first year of our California College Promise initiative, AB 19 (Santiago/E. Garcia) which my colleagues and I introduced to allow for schools to waive tuition for first-time, full-time students.”

 

“Investments in higher education and keeping costs down are an absolute prerequisite in making degrees attainable, boosting economic development, expanding jobs and counteracting poverty. This budget commits significant funding increases for the University of California and the California State University systems. Last year, we were successful in securing $3 million of the $10 million we requested for the expansion of the California State University, San Bernardino Palm Desert campus and now we are pursuing the rest. We will also be making a budget ask to include funding for the Imperial Valley Campus of San Diego State University. These projects are critical to meeting current and future educational and economic needs of the 56th District.”

 

Jobs/Economic Development:

 

“I am glad to see our state express its continued support for the business community, especially our small businesses. The budget will offer a five year, $180 million extension to the California Competes program to award credits to establish and grow businesses. The budget also allocates $20 million directly to assist small businesses.”

 

“Last year, I championed efforts and legislation to break barriers to employment for our most vulnerable as a way to address unemployment rates within my district. I am pleased to see that this budget outlines $50 million in credits for businesses to hire individuals facing workforce barriers, such as the formerly incarcerated, CalWORKs recipients, and veterans.”

 

Veteran/Farmworker Housing:

 

“The passage of the Veterans and Affordable Housing Bond Act of 2018 will open up $277 million in local assistance for the Multifamily Housing Program. These critical funds will help ensure the essential right to safe, affordable housing for more of our hard working families and veterans across California.”

 

“$75 million will be made available for the Veteran Housing Fund and $264 million will be extended into the CALVET Farm and Home Loan Program. All helping ensure our veterans have a roof over their heads and can lead lives with dignity.”

 

“Our work with AB 571 (E. Garcia) made modifications to improve the utilization of the Farmworker Housing Assistance Tax Credit Program. This budget will allocate $3 million for this program to help build migrant housing and spur necessary growth.”

 

Climate Change Investments:

 

“Thanks to our authorship of AB 398 (E. Garcia), which extended the cap-and-trade program through 2030, we now have $1.25 billion in revenues to appropriate this year with $400,000 to conduct a workforce survey to help us better grow our clean green economy.”

 

“As Chair of the Joint Committee on Climate Change Policies, I am working to ensure the equitable implementation of these funds toward our most impacted communities, like those in my district.  Specifically, we are looking at investments in agriculture, affordable housing, transportation and urban greening programs. We have already been able to steer millions of these dollars home; trickling into our local agricultural industry, parks and transportation projects. This resource has the potential to reap immeasurable economic and public health benefits within Californian communities. My job is to make sure our region gets its fair share of these climate related investments.”

 

Road Infrastructure:

 

“We are looking at $4.6 billion in new transportation funding as a result of last year’s SB 1. A majority of these resources will go toward fixing our most immediate problems such as road, highway and bridge repairs. Our region looks forward to seeing these dollars make their way into projects currently underway within our district.”

 

For more information and list of projects: http://rebuildingca.ca.gov/map.html

 

Judiciary:

 

“I am glad that after years of effort our request to help complete the construction of our local Imperial County and Riverside County, Indio courthouses will receive funding. This facility will help equip our public safety agencies with the capacity to serve our community’s needs.”  

 

Cultural Re-Entry Services:

 

“This initial budget draft sets aside $29 million General Fund for county probation departments to supervise the temporary increase in the average daily population of offenders on Post-Release Community Supervision. Last year, we were successful in passing AB 683, Cultural Re-Entry Programs (E. Garcia) to expand resources for culturally competent programs geared to reunify families and help reduce recidivism. This budget commitment greatly assists our efforts to increase resources and strengthen local partnerships while enhancing our ability to seamlessly transition and rehabilitate individuals back home.”

 

Water, Parks and Wildlife:

 

“The Governor’s budget proposes $1.02 billion for the first year of implementation of the $4 billion Parks and Water bond (De León/E. Garcia) which will go before the voters in June of this year. Among priorities for funding include $63 million to provide grants to public water system infrastructure needs in disadvantaged communities as well as $277 million to provide safe neighborhood parks grants and $186 million for the acquisition and development of neighborhood, community, regional parks and recreation lands and facilities in urban and rural areas.”

 

Salton Sea:

 

“The California Parks and Water bond would authorize a total of $200 million in Salton Sea mitigation funding with $30 million, noted in this budget for phase one of the Ten Year Salton Sea Management Plan. This initial allocation would fund the construction of water management infrastructure, habitat conservation and dust mitigation projects. I am committed to pushing for additional resources to fully fund the mitigation plan in order to safeguard the public health and prosperity of communities surrounding the sea.“

 

Governor’s 2018-2019 Budget Proposal: http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/