- Richard Garcia
I applaud the Governor’s continued focus on providing resources to struggling Californians affected by the pandemic. The fact that California has an historic budget surplus of $95.7 billion, at a time when a global pandemic caused serious disruption in the global economy, education, and public health and safety, places us in a unique position to support the needs of residents. We must be strategic, however, in funding endeavors that range from homelessness to education to public safety.
As the Chair of the Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, my work aligns with, and I continuously champion for, investment in law enforcement wellness programs, funds to help the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) monitor staff complaints handled by institutions and to reflect refinements to the staffing levels for the OIG to monitor California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s centralized screening process and investigations conducted by the Office of Internal Affairs, and cost saving measures that include the closure of outdated minimum prisons and the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ).
My district will receive a one-time General Fund allocation of $15 million to support the California African American Museum located in Exposition Park. And as a dues paying union member, I am excited to see $13 million allocated to support the operations of existing UC Labor Centers and Occupational Safety and Health programs throughout the UC system.
I also believe this to be a bipartisan budget that provides tax relief in the form of refunds to registered car owners, pauses the diesel sales tax, and waivers for childcare fees for low-income families.
Having spent my career working on policies to support seniors, students, and working-class Californians, I am supportive of funds to establish free public transportation, expand and extend Covered California healthcare insurance and assist with premiums, and any funding allocations to help low-income families with payments on past due electricity and water bills, along with rental assistance to help get folks back on their feet.
I am looking forward to discussing the revised budget proposal with my colleagues, stakeholders in my district, and receiving input from residents of the 59th Assembly District prior to the June 30th deadline.