Assembly Democrats Release Budget Priorities
April 29, 2021
The Assembly Democrats released their budget priorities this week in an updated Assembly Budget Blueprint. Similar to the Senate plan released two weeks ago, this Assembly plan reflects updated priorities for state investment in light of the increased state budget surplus and new federal funding provided by the American Rescue Plan. The Blueprint outlines investments in all budget policy areas and focuses on four goals of preserve, respond, protect, and recover. It also indicates an effort to provide multi-year funding packages with one-time federal and state funds.
While details are limited, the initial proposal supports CSAC priorities through:
- Unspecified investment in broadband infrastructure to “eliminate gaps in service and make affordable.”
- $20 billion in homelessness funding over the next five years focusing on local opportunities, flexibility, and accountability such as Project Homekey and HHAPP.
- Funding to build a public health infrastructure and invest in county public health staff in order to respond to pandemics, improve population health, and maintain vigilance against infectious diseases.
- Respond to climate change by focusing funding on wildfire prevention, drought resilience, and access to clean water, and planning for heat impacts.
- Fully fund the backlog of current grant applications in the Active Transportation Program (ATP), which received requests for over $2 billion from only $220 million in available funding.
- Key investments to advance the implementation of the Master Plan for Aging.
- Additional housing investments in the form of down-payment assistance for homeownership programs and funding for shovel-ready affordable housing projects targeting low-income residents.
- Efforts to enhance environmental justice and increase access to green spaces by remediating pollution and adding funding for parks.
- Unspecified additional support to small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the pandemic.
With both houses of the Legislature now establishing their budget priorities, attention will shift to the Governor and the release of his May Revision in about two weeks. That will then set up an intense month of negotiations between the Legislature and the Governor to reach a final budget package by the June 15 deadline.