From the Capitol

In the wake of market volatility, California faces a challenging fiscal outlook for the next couple of years and our state government has enacted a carefully crafted approach to addressing the needs of our state and its people. The following are a few highlights in our state’s $310 billion budget that maintains core programs, protects essential reserves, and ensures continued economic stability:

Ensuring our government operates consistently and ethically has been a pressing matter for me since I first arrived in the Capitol. I am continuing in these efforts this year by streamlining the manner in which ballot initiative proponents can withdraw their measures and work for legislative solutions in order to avoid inundating voters with unnecessary measures; ensuring the money you spend on plastic bags at the grocery store is actually being used for what it is intended; modernizing the way we can update the Political Reform Act of 1974; and cutting unnecessary red tape around the ability for authorized cannabis lounges to operate the way they were intended. Additionally, I am working with Assemblymember Isaac Bryan on legislation to bring Independent Redistricting Commissions to all large jurisdictions following the leak of alarming tapes from Los Angeles City Council leadership which involved discussion of manipulating the drawing of district lines.

Some of our state’s most pressing issues for Californians surround housing availability and the challenges posed by the unacceptable levels of our fellow Californians living on our streets. This year, to build upon the $12 billion allocated in 2021 to address homelessness through state programs like Homekey and Project Roomkey along with local government efforts, the Governor is proposing to spend $3.7 billion to maintain state efforts to address homelessness.

As chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, member of the Natural Resources and Water Committee, and Co-Chair of our Environmental Caucus, much of our office’s work pertains to the defense and maintenance of our air, water, soil, plants, wildlife, and more. After the significant successes last year with our climate package and climate investments of $20 billion, we have some more big things planned for this year, including a multi-billion dollar bond aimed at fortifying our state amidst climate change while also preserving natural resources.