The COVID-19 pandemic changed our way of life and claimed the lives of too many Californians. Today's budget situation, with a surplus unimaginable to many over the past year, does not feel like a reflection of where so many in our state are financially today. This one-time surplus must be spent wisely; both to help those recover from the pandemic and to invest in our future.
The Governor's proposed budget focuses on the necessary measures of equity to help communities like the 52nd District participate in the recovery, and not be left behind. Renters and small businesses are still hurting, this relief will be essential to our regions' revival.
Investment in our emergency preparedness agencies and systems will help us take on this summer's wildfires and other crises. In particular, I am proud that the Governor has included $150 million in one-time critical funding I have called for to our fairgrounds and community centers, which play an indispensable role in responding to emergencies. The addition of $50 million for security grants to nonprofits is more welcome news to those of us who have advocated for its importance in keeping our religious organizations and service groups safe.
I look forward to engaging with the Governor on his planned increases to many programs and staff at Cal O.E.S and its divisions. As we work to better engage communities and build disaster resistance, allocations like $250 million in one-time funds for “Prepare California” and new funding for Listos, are more necessary than ever.
As Chair of the Assembly Committee on Emergency Management, and a first responder for over 30 years, I encourage all Californians to prepare themselves and their families for an emergency or unexpected disaster. Visit LISTOSCALIFORNIA.ORG for information on staying safe and building a plan.