CSAC Bulletin Article

Senate Democrats Release Budget Priorities

April 15, 2021

With two months before the June 15 budget deadline, State Senate Democrats today released their priorities in the Build Back Boldly budget plan. The plan covers all budget areas with an emphasis on pathways out of poverty, expanding access to wealth to reduce debt and wealth gaps, and reducing homelessness. The plan outlines general improvements for housing affordability, healthcare, and increased access to education from Early Care to Higher Education. Finally, the plan outlines areas to boost funding for environmental priorities, including wildfire prevention and community resiliency.

While still short on details, the initial proposal supports CSAC priorities through:

  • $20 billion in homelessness response funding to fund the acquisition and rehabilitation of multi-family housing, motels, and board and care facilities to convert to permanent housing for homeless very low-income Californians. Funds would also support local efforts to reduce homelessness by providing multi-year support for local governments to offer transition services for those experiencing homelessness to exit to permanent housing.
  • Unspecified investments in state and local public health infrastructure to achieve improved population health and maintain vigilance against future infectious disease outbreaks.
  • Unspecified investment in broadband infrastructure “to achieve universal internet access” using federal stimulus funds, at least in part.
  • $1 billion for public library infrastructure and technology, including facility upgrades, broadband deployment, and devices and hotspots for users to check out. Eliminate library debt and provide ongoing sustainable funding for libraries.
  • Unspecified multi-year funding for wildfire prevention and resiliency programs.
  • $2 billion drought protection including $300 million for groundwater assistance to agricultural and local and regional agencies.

The Senate and Assembly budget committees will be meeting throughout May and June to complete the final budget package which must be agreed upon by both houses and the Governor. For more information, please contact Catherine Freeman, CSAC Legislative Representative at cfreeman@counties.org.

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