Statement: Senator Laird releases statement on Governor's May Revision
Contact: Richard Stapler
SACRAMENTO – Chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) released the following statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s May Revision:
“I want to start off by thanking Governor Newsom and his team for their continued work on the state budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year. I am disappointed to not see more of the restorations proposed by the Senate’s Protect Our Progress budget plan included in today’s May Revise, but I am pleased to see additional funding to address the statewide flood impacts and additional subvention funding to support local flood control projects such as the Pajaro River Flood Risk Management Project.
I am encouraged to see maintained funding that reflects the urgency of the climate crisis and builds community resiliency to uplift those most impacted by a changed climate. These critical investments will reduce the risks of catastrophic wildfires, and improve adaptation to weather extremes and water whiplash.
I do remain deeply concerned about the lack of restoration to coastal resiliency funding, which faced a disproportionate cut in the January budget proposal, and the lack of restoration to nature-based activities to ensure the state can meet its 2030 conservation goals. We must fulfill our commitment to work on these urgent issues and I look forward to working with my legislative colleagues in the coming month on addressing these pressing needs.
Long term funding for climate related initiatives has decreased, but this year’s atmospheric rivers were a clear sign that we must, in fact, do more to invest in decarbonizing the economy and sea level rise planning and coastal resilience.
In K-12 funding, the Governor’s January proposal included an 8.13% cost of living adjustment for the Local Control Funding Formula, and I am pleased the May Revise further increases and proposes to fully fund the COLA that to 8.22%. Additionally, I look forward to continuing conversations to ensure that the flexible funding that the Legislature secured in the Arts, Music, and Instructional Materials Discretionary Block Grant and the Learning Recovery Emergency Block Grant is protected.
In higher education, I am excited to see that ongoing base support for UC, CSU, and CCC is maintained in the May Revise. I look forward to continuing discussions on the student housing and capital outlay financing shifts and solving our shared goals of providing affordable and reliable housing and facilities for students
Although the budget is not as robust as years past, know that myself, along with my colleagues in the Senate and Assembly, look forward to collaborating with the Governor to make sure we pass a budget by the June 15th constitutional deadline that keeps all Californians at the forefront.
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.