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California Republicans Outline Budget Priorities

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Sacramento, CA — California lawmakers returned to the state capitol this week for a new legislative session. This year they are met with a $31-billion budget surplus, so lawmakers will debate how to spend the new revenue over the coming weeks and months.

Democrats control the governor’s office and both houses of the legislature. Earlier this week Democratic Senate and Assembly leaders indicated that 2022 priorities will include helping students address mental health issues and learning loss, temporary and permanent solutions for those facing homelessness, improvements to the unemployment system, funding wildfire and climate initiatives, improving the public health infrastructure, implementing universal TK education, and addressing issues with the state’s child welfare and foster care system.

Governor Gavin Newsom will release his formal proposed new budget around mid-month.

Today, the Assembly Republican Caucus sent a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom listing the GOP priorities. Republican Leader Marie Waldron argues, “With his upcoming budget proposal, Governor Newsom faces a choice. A business-as-usual budget that will continue forcing taxpayers to spend more and get less, or a reform-minded plan that will deliver a safe and affordable California for all. These common-sense requests from my colleagues and I will help California finally meet its true potential.”

The Republican priorities are detailed below:

  • Improved educational outcomes by increasing parental control at schools, support for students of public, charter and home-based schools, and mental health assistance for children.
  • Fully funding public safety by expanding the California Highway Patrol’s Organized Retail Theft Program and bringing accountability back to the criminal justice system.
  • Investing in wildfire prevention with ongoing funding for fuel reductions, wildfire prevention and response.
  • Building meaningful infrastructure, including water storage, supply chain infrastructure, road repair and projects to eliminate traffic congestion.
  • Making California more affordable through permanent tax relief, streamlined housing construction, paying down unemployment insurance debt and eliminating businesses’ state tax liability for federal COVID-relief funding they have received.
  • Addressing California’s mental health and homelessness crises by expanding treatment options for Substance Use Disorder and eliminating barriers to treating people who are incapable of asking for help.

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