Courtesy of State Sen. Anna Caballero:
During a time of immense challenge to our economy, I am proud to support and vote “Aye” on Senate Bill 74, the State Senate’s 2020-21 budget. In January when the Governor first announced his budget plans, the state looked like it could afford to support expanding vital social services to provide a safety net and lifeline to Californians in need. By the time the May revision to the budget came about, the world, the country, and California were in a very different position then just a few months prior, ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing a $54 billion shortfall, the Senate budget subcommittees went to work to close that gap without completely eviscerating the state’s social safety net for veterans, students, the unemployed, seniors, youth, and the poor. The Senate budget committees met the mark and produced a balanced budget that maintains vital services to as many Californians as possible.
The budget is not perfect. The future is not clear. There will definitely be more work to be done.
Unfortunately, there are groups trying to use the budget process to advance policies that would change the state’s cap and trade program, which would ultimately cost all of us more money in utility bills, gasoline, and consumer products. I spoke against that effort on the Senate floor, and I will seek this expenditure before the budget is finalized. Advancing policy changes in the budget without vetting them through policy committees on issues like cap and trade that have been debated, negotiated, and supported with bi-partisan support undermines public confidence and hurts the credibility of the Legislature and the Governor.