State Budget Passes with Unresolved Funding Questions

Budget

Though lawmakers and the Governor were able to agree on a record-breaking $262.6 billion state budget before the July 1 fiscal year began, negotiations continue on the exact level of funding for several items.  Those specifics are detailed in what are called “budget trailer bills.”

Spending on items like drought relief and wildfire prevention will be solidified through these bills – which are now simply placeholder without official language.

Unique to this budget is a surplus, known as the Golden State Stimulus II, which will be allocated in payments of $500 - $1,100 to California taxpayers with incomes of $75,000 or less.

The budget does contain spending on several items of importance to the CCC, including housing and homelessness. It will provide $8.5 billion in new funding for homeless programs over the next two years. It also includes $1 billion in ongoing support for local governments to address homelessness. In addition, an extension was given to the moratorium on renter evictions, which will now end on Sept. 30, 2021.

In what was sometimes a contentious issue, the Governor and Democratic leaders ultimately reached a deal to allocate $1.3 billion to expand Medi-Cal eligibility to all income-eligible Californians 50 years of age and up, regardless of their immigration status. The Governor had pushed to make the eligible age 60 years.

In environmental justice, the spending plan includes $1.47 billion over two years to expand and protect water supplies by protecting drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, supporting local groundwater supply projects and planning, cleaning up contaminated groundwater, support water recycling projects, and installing treatments on drinking water wells. It also expands environmental education and resources and includes $130 million in one-time funding for recycling efforts.

On the restorative justice and mental health front, the Psychiatric Inpatient Program (PIP) will receive $37.7 million this fiscal year for staff positions like clinicians, nurses, custody staff, and administrative staff to provide the comprehensive suite of services.

In early childhood education, a TK-12 education budget trailer bill went into print on Monday that expands transitional kindergarten (TK) to all four-year-olds. Per the trailer bill, the expansion would roll out over the next five years, reaching full implementation by the 2025-26 school year.

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Highlights