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Senator Borgeas Offers Praise And Criticism Of Governor’s New Budget

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Sacramento, CA – The Mother Lode’s District 8 Republican Senator Andreas Borgeas has some mixed reactions to Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed $222-billion state budget.

Borgeas says, “We have seen California’s $21.5 billion surplus in Fiscal Year 2019-20 drop to an estimated $4 to $7 billion surplus in FY 2020-21, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) 2020 Fiscal Outlook. Should current trends continue, California may enter a recession in the next fiscal year. Therefore, California’s fiscal approach should be prudent and responsible, remembering that investments in infrastructure, disaster preparedness, transportation, housing and water are our most immediate concerns.”

Borgeas gives his opinions below on some of the main points of the spending plan, including emergency preparedness, housing, homelessness, education and water.

Emergency Preparedness/Fire Prevention

“The Governor’s investment in hiring more firefighters is a positive step towards reducing the threat of wildfires. However, protecting Californians from wildfire threats must also include forest management, home hardening, California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) streamlining for emergency preparedness, and greater oversight of Investor Owned Utilities. The state’s record revenues can help communities in wildfire prone areas by offering tax credits for home hardening, forest management, and the reissuance of insurance policies.”

Rising Cost Of Living/Housing

“As the cost of living in California continues to rise, the state must address rising energy costs, taxes, fuel prices, and housing costs that are placing undue burdens on people and families. In a recent CAL Matters report, it highlighted data from the U.S. Census Bureau demonstrating ‘middle and lower classes are leaving California at a higher rate…’ In the Central Valley, poverty and unemployment already separate the region from wealthier coastal regions. The state should dedicate its existing and excess revenues towards solutions to reduce these rising costs.”

Homelessness

“Homelessness is plaguing our cities leaving residents and business owners to deal with the problem without the proper tools. While I appreciate the Governor’s efforts to address homelessness, this is an issue that requires more than just an investment of $1 billion. Collaboration across all levels of government, non-profit agencies and local stakeholders is necessary in order to get individuals on the street the help they require.”

Education

“The Governor’s commitment to education is critical to advance economic growth in California. The increase of $17 million in one-time General Fund dollars supports a plan to design educational pathways and improve social and economic mobility in the greater Fresno region. I also appreciate his recognition for the return-on-investment yielded by higher education. The $33 million one-time General Fund investment in the Fresno-Merced Food Innovation Corridor will stimulate research and development, commercialization, and innovation to support advanced sustainable agricultural production and jobs in the San Joaquin Valley.”

Water

“It is no secret the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) has an adverse impact on so many of our farmers. The Budget proposes $60 million to support planning, water trading pilot projects across critically over drafted basins and water efficiency improvements. Through Senate Bill 559 (2019), I remain committed that the state will provide support to restore the Friant-Kern Canal so that clean water can be delivered efficiently to families and farms in the San Joaquin Valley.”

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