Assemblymember O’Donnell Statement on Proposed 2021-22 Budget

For immediate release:

Chair of Assembly Education Committee applauds increased funding for schools and support for small businesses

(SACRAMENTO) – Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach) issued the following statement Friday on Governor Newsom’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year:

“Governor Newsom’s third proposed budget is a fiscally prudent roadmap. As a parent, a teacher, and Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, I applaud the Governor’s proposed increase for schools. Distance learning has been ineffective for students. The increased funds to address learning loss is crucial for getting students back on track. These funds will help prevent further widening of the academic achievement gap and support our students in credit and grade recovery. Reopening schools safely, which must include adequate testing and vaccination of teachers and other school staff, must also be a priority for consideration by the Governor and Legislature.

Our commitment to helping small businesses succeed is crucial to our economic recovery. The Governor’s call for additional small business grants recognizes the challenges these businesses face due to the COVID pandemic and the need for swift action to support them.

While our unexpected budget surplus is welcome news, we must exercise restraint, as future budgets are not anticipated to be as positive. Paying down long term debt, such as employer PERS/STRS pension liabilities, is a smart use of general fund dollars that will enable school districts to focus spending on students.

I look forward to working on a responsible budget that supports our schools and paves the way for our economic recovery in the midst of the COVID pandemic.”

Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell represents the 70th Assembly District, which includes Long Beach, Signal Hill,       San Pedro and Catalina Island.