SACRAMENTO – Today, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), along with Senate Budget Chair Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) and Senate Budget Subcommittee Chairs Anna M. Caballero (D-Salinas), María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), and Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont), announced the Senate’s budget proposal to build a post-pandemic economy that extends prosperity for Californians and invests resources to address the state’s most pressing needs in innovative and equitable ways.
“The Senate’s ‘Build Back Boldly’ budget gives us a once-in-a-generation chance to make transformational change in California,” Pro Tem Atkins said. “California has long led the nation on things like expanding health care for the middle class and undocumented immigrants, providing paid family leave and a higher minimum income, and establishing our own Earned Income Tax Credit. With the Build Back Boldly budget, the Senate continues to prioritize smart investments that take care of Californians and take California into the future.”
The Senate’s ‘Build Back Boldly’ proposal, which continues the responsible budgeting practice that Senate Democrats have championed over the past decade and that buoyed California during the COVID-19 pandemic, includes eight transformative proposals:
- Help small business and non-profits bounce back
- Create a path to universal 0-3 child care and education
- Make debt-free college a reality
- Address homelessness, housing affordability and home ownership
- Expand access and affordability of health care
- Invest in wildfire prevention and resilience
- Mitigate the impacts of drought
- Improve state systems
The proposal also includes key subcommittee packages to address K-12 and higher education, public libraries, greenhouse gas and pollution reduction, safety net and aging and public health, equitable recovery, workforce investments, access to legal service resources, and justice reform.
During a press conference today, Senate Budget Chair Skinner said the Senate’s budget proposal would provide financial help for California’s businesses and families, including those most vulnerable:
“The California Senate’s Build Back Boldly budget captures this moment when millions of Californians are reeling from pandemic economic hardship at the same time the stock market has soared and given California unprecedented revenues,” Sen. Skinner said. “Our plan provides immediate economic relief to families and small businesses while taking bold steps to close the wealth inequity that undermines California’s prosperity for all.”
Senate Budget Subcommittee Chairs had the following to say about the ‘Build Back Boldly’ priorities:
Senate Budget Subcommittee 1 (Education) Chair John Laird (D-Santa Cruz): “In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot go back to business as usual in our approach to education. The Senate is proposing bold action, which will ensure that when students return to ‘normalcy,’ they face significantly less financial obstacles in attaining their educational goals.”
Senate Budget Subcommittee 2 (Resources, Environmental Protection and Energy) Chair Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont): “The $536 million early action wildfire package creates the architecture going forward for more long-term funding with an emphasis on prevention and resiliency. It is an important down payment to meet urgent needs. But the Senate will be advancing additional support to strengthen our work on better vegetation management, home hardening, wildfire fuel breaks and market development to protect vulnerable communities across the state.”
Senate Budget Subcommittee 3 (Health and Human Services) Chair Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton): “The Senate budget package strengthens our safety net, expands access to services for seniors, and prioritizes investments in a robust public health infrastructure. These investments are critical to seeing California through the latter stages of the pandemic, addressing inequality, and to help support a strong economic recovery.”
Senate Budget Subcommittee 4 (State Administration) Chair Anna M. Caballero (D-Salinas): “As we take action to work our way out of the pandemic, we must do so equitably for everyday Californians. Through the Earned Income Tax Credits, Small Business Grants program and renters and landlord assistance programs, California continues to lead the nation to rebuild better and stronger than ever.”
Senate Budget Subcommittee 5 (Public Safety, the Judiciary, Labor and Transportation) Chair María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles): “Through this budget, we are seeking to address this rise in pandemic-induced economic inequity. This ambitious and practical plan is a road map to a just recovery from this crisis that has exacerbated the disparities that already existed in our communities, and a framework to create quality, high-road jobs that will prepare our workforce for the 21st century. This budget is a strong reflection of what California values should be.”
Details regarding the Senate’s Build Back Boldly priorities can be found here.
Toni G. Atkins is President pro Tempore of the California Senate. Having previously served as Speaker of the California Assembly, she began her tenure in the Senate in 2016. As Senator for District 39, she represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del Mar and Solana Beach. Website of President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins: www.senate.ca.gov/Atkins