STATEMENT BY STATE SENATOR JOHN LAIRD (D-SANTA CRUZ) ON GOVERNOR’S BUDGET PROPOSAL
Contact: Richard Stapler, Richard.Stapler@sen.ca.gov
SACRAMENTO – The chair of the Senate Budget Subcommittee on Education Sen. John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) made the following statement today on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s January budget proposal for 2022-23:
“Governor Newsom’s California Blueprint reflects ongoing and expanded investments to continue confronting the COVID-19 crisis, address the existential threat of climate change, and support the bright future of California students and families.
Our state’s continued economic growth provides great opportunity paired with an immense responsibility to make wise choices for California today and into the future. The Governor’s budget priorities reflect the seriousness of this task.
Current figures show the state now has a projected surplus of $45.7 billion, which includes $20.6 billion in General Fund for discretionary purposes, $16.1 billion in additional Proposition 98 for K-12 schools and community colleges, the highest per student investment in Prop 98 recorded in California history, and $9 billion in reserve deposits and supplemental pension payments.
Californians collective future rests wholeheartedly on the success of students who continue to face a challenge unlike any we have known in our lifetimes. The Governor’s proposal to increase the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA) by 5.33 percent, the highest COLA since the Great Recession, address enrollment loss, alleviate COVID-19 demands on schools, and bolster resources in higher education are a good start for our work ahead. I look forward to working with the Administration and the Assembly this spring to come to an agreement that helps turn the tide of the devastating academic and social emotional effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on our students, staff and the entire school community.
Representing a significant portion of California’s coastline, I am pleased to see the Governor’s budget includes $400 million toward coastal resilience in addition to $45 million to advance offshore wind energy. These funds will offer tools to combat the dangers of sea level rise, strengthen our coastal communities and ecosystems and bring us closer to a green energy economy. This year, the Governor proposes an additional $750 million to address immediate drought response needs, including $250 million set aside as a contingency beyond the 2021 allocation of $5.2 billion to be dispersed over three years to advance water resilience and drought.
I am eager to work with the Governor, his team, and my colleagues in the legislature to build on the commitments made in last year’s budget to help Californians now – providing immediate assistance to our most vulnerable communities and protecting the health and safety of all Californians through this difficult time."
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.