State Sen. John Laird’s Statement on Governor Newsom’s 2023-24 Draft Budget

SACRAMENTO – State Sen. John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) made the following statement today after the release of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s draft 2023-24 state budget:

“I would like to thank Gov. Newsom and his team for presenting a fiscally responsible draft budget for consideration by the State Legislature for the 2023-24 budget year. It was clear as 2022 drew to a close that there would be considerable pressure on future state spending due to declining tax receipts, so this is a welcome starting point.

I applaud Gov. Newsom’s commitment to increasing the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) by 8.13 percent, resulting in an additional in $4.2 billion in discretionary funds for K-12 districts. For the University of California and California State University systems, I consider it a good start to maintain the five percent increase in base funding for their multi-year compacts. It is important to note that the Legislative Analysts’ Office (LAO) still estimates a $12 billion shortfall in student housing needs over time.

The promise of $3 billion to local governments for Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention (HHAP) Program is truly the right way to go, spurring on our communities to push the envelope in both innovation of programs and implementation.

The fiscal prudence of this document is reflected in the unfortunate need to reduce longer term spending on climate-related initiatives from $54 billion to $48 billion. This is still an extremely significant investment in the effort to decarbonize our economy. As a Senator, I will be looking at every way possible to leverage and maximize these investments. I do hope that as unprecedented storms hammer our coast, we can ensure robust investment in sea level rise planning and coastal erosion mitigation.

As part of last year’s negotiations regarding Diablo Canyon Power Plant, a commitment was made to fund a Clean Energy Reliability Investment Plan. This plan will support reliability and enable investments that will accelerate the clean energy transition, and I look forward to future discussion of how to best allocate these funds.

Finally, I want to thank Gov. Newsom for his $110 million investment in tourism in California. Our state is one of the most amazing and visited places in the world, and this reflects the importance tourism holds on our economy, particularly in smaller towns and rural areas of the state.”


Senator John Laird represents the 17th State Senate District, which includes all of Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo counties, the majority of Monterey County, as well as parts of Santa Clara County. He previously served as the Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, member of the State Integrated Waste Management Board, a member of the State Assembly, Executive Director of the Santa Cruz Aids Project, and two terms as Santa Cruz Mayor. His lifetime of public service and social justice advocacy saw him become one of the first openly gay mayors to serve in the United States. Senator Laird has been a long-time resident of Santa Cruz with his spouse John Flores.