Chair of Assembly Education Committee applauds planned investments in students and teachers; plus funding to address port congestion and expand green transportation
(SACRAMENTO) – Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D – Long Beach) issued the following statement on Governor Newsom’s proposed budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year:
“Governor Newsom’s proposed budget is a good starting point. As a parent, a teacher, and Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, I applaud the Governor’s proposed increases for schools. While the proposed 5.33% COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) for the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) is very good start, it’s too low. Given the amount of funds that are available, we have an opportunity to make a historic investment by building up the LCFF base. We don’t need a lot of new programs this year. We created many new programs in the current year’s budget and school districts do not have the staff or capacity to implement more programs. Instead, we should increase the base to support local needs in the years to come.
- “We must also address declining enrollment in the long term. Allowing school districts to use a three-year average is a good idea, but we may need to provide additional one-time funds to address this year’s so-called COVID cliff that is causing major attendance issues.
- “Given the amount of one-time General Funds available, we can responsibly make larger investments in school facilities that exceed the $2.2 billion proposed in the Governor’s budget plan.
- “I applaud and strongly support the proposed “rebenching” of Proposition 98 to allow for Transitional Kindergarten expansion.
- “I also want to ensure the state aggressively pays down both its own CalSTRS and CalPERS contributions as well as those of the employers using one-time General Funds.
- “Regarding the ongoing supply chain congestion at our ports, I appreciate the Governor’s focus on making new investments. This includes a proposed workforce development training center. As the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Ports and Goods Movement, we must ensure our ports can efficiently move imports and exports to meet the needs of businesses and consumers.
- “I am glad to see $900 million to expand access to zero-emission vehicle infrastructure. However, it’s important that the state take a technology-neutral approach with these investments, supporting all viable clean vehicle technologies, including hydrogen fuel cells, in addition to battery electric.
“Our state’s budget surplus represents an opportunity to make historic progress. I look forward to working with my Legislative colleagues on an ambitious and responsible budget that positions our state to deal with the important issues facing California.”
Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell represents the 70th Assembly District, which includes Long Beach, Signal Hill, San Pedro and Catalina Island.