Sacramento, CA –Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) issued the following statement on Governor Newsom’s $300.7 billion budget priorities:
“The Governor projects a $47 billion operating budget surplus even though the Legislative Analyst’s Office projects it to be $65 billion. Regardless, this is a lot of money. The legislature should resist the temptation to massively increase ongoing obligations. Instead, we should focus on one-time infrastructure investments, building our reserves in anticipation of a recession, and helping Californian’s deal with rising inflation and gas prices.
Making one-time investments in much needed infrastructure is smart and brings bi-partisan support. We should make major investments in repairing and expanding our existing water storage infrastructure. There should be no more excuses for not funding and building Sites Reservoir and addressing Central Valley water conveyance projects.
With a deficit of over 7,000 subacute and acute treatment beds, we should provide needed funding and resources to build out additional treatment facilities for our most vulnerable. There is no path to solving the homelessness and mental health crisis that does not include expanding mental health and drug and alcohol treatment capacity.
As the Unemployment Insurance debt has reached well over $20 billion dollars, the governor and legislative Democrats should join Senate Republicans and commit $10 billion to paying down the debt in order to prevent the financial burden from falling on California businesses.
Global and national economic conditions suggest a recession could be on the horizon. Significantly increasing our reserves should be a top priority.
Lastly, we should not delay in providing financial relief to California drivers facing high inflation and pain at the gas pump. We should suspend the gas tax now and backfill transportation funding from the General Fund.
We have been presented with a golden opportunity; I urge Governor Newsom and our legislative colleagues to work with Senate Republicans to take full advantage of the moment.”
Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) represents the 36th Senate District in the California Legislature, which covers South Orange County, North San Diego County, and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Senator Patricia Bates State Capitol Sacramento, CA 95814