California State Assembly Republicans came out and blasted the approved $214.8 billion budget pointing out much pork and calling for better fiscal spending.
The budget is a 3.5% increase over last years budget and is loaded with many pork barrel projects which many are pointing out a $10.7 million parking lot in downtown Sacramento and a $3 million dog park in the city of Rancho Cucamonga.
Here are what some of GOP Assembly members stated:
Vince Fong (R- ) called the budget unsustainable.
Today, the ruling party pushed through an unsustainable state budget of over $200 billion filled with questionable spending decisions. In fact, the state budget has grown 100% in the last decade. Yet the most important issues facing our state is getting worse, whether it’s homelessness, our neighborhoods being littered with needles and waste, insufferable traffic congestion, and the cost of living squeezing out the middle class. In fact, unaccountable government bureaucracy continues to grow and taxpayers get the bill. This is unacceptable. Californians are rightfully tired of paying more and getting less. This budget only reinforces Sacramento’s irresponsible and unsustainable tax-and-spend behavior.
Devon Mathis (R-Visalia):stated the budget will increase the wait time for patients seeking healthcare and said many programs being funded are untested.
“This budget has it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly,” said Assemblymember Mathis. “While there are a large number of supportable proposals that aim to increase the quality of life for our citizens, there are a number of misguided priorities that do far more harm than good.”
“Throughout the budget, we spend millions on new and untested proposals, and on programs which do not directly benefit our communities. Sadly, most of this spending comes at the expense of our most at-risk communities, including the Developmentally Disabled community. While studies have shown a substantial need in funding, far more than proposed within this budget, the Governor and Budget Chairs continue to underfund and ignore the needs of these individuals.”
“Furthermore, this budget ignores the underlying problem our communities face, especially in rural California, with regard to healthcare – access. Our communities experience a severe lack of access to quality healthcare providers, and the problem only grows year by year. Families in my communities are told they’ll have to wait weeks to see their doctors; this budget, through its massive expansion of the system, will force these wait times into months. This is unacceptable.”
“Finally, this budget contains more “pork” than a pig farm. Not only does this budget contain millions in spending for the construction of statues and dog parks, it comes at the expense of expanding funding for after-school programs for our youths. These misguided priorities cannot go unchecked.”
Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore) called the budget a failure:
“Legislative Democrats are more than willing to continue spending other people’s money while having little to no success to point to.
“Los Angeles spent over half a billion dollars last year to ‘fight’ homelessness. The result was an embarrassing 12% increase in homelessness. This year’s budget proposes spending $650 million on ‘fighting’ homelessness for the entire state, the bulk of that money likely destined for cities like Los Angeles, which failed miserably at its last attempt. No Californian should expect that the State will do a better job, because the Democrat majority party has shown they’re incompetent at problem solving.
“The ‘healthcare for all’ ideology is embedded in this budget as well, by way of forcing every legal citizen of California to purchase insurance or face a $695.00 fine, but giving it away for free to illegal aliens.
“We are number one in poverty in the nation; we have the most homeless; the worst roads despite the highest gas tax; a housing shortage crisis; and a great need to build water storage yet no storage being built.
“If a budget is a statement of values, then legislative Democrats are clearly stating what they value most is getting re-elected by stripping people of their personal dignity and keeping them dependent on government.”
Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale) said he voted no because the developmentally disabled got left out of the budget after asking for 8% increase ($1 billion), this budget funded the request of about $300 million. There was $150 million in funding request in the last minute and instead of spending it on the developmentally challenged, they made choices like funding a dog park and a parking lot.
Sacramento approved a record-breaking $215 billion state budget yesterday, but the developmentally disabled community did not receive the full rate increase they deserve. A budget shows what your priorities are. That’s why I voted NO.
Jay Obernolte (R-Big Bear Lake) stated this budget has more “pork” in it than any other budget that he had seen since serving in the Legislature.
With this budget, California will once again see record state spending at a time when many Californians are struggling with a skyrocketing cost of living and among the highest taxes in the nation. We should prioritize improving our core services such as K-12 education. We’re still near the bottom in school spending when our high cost of living is factored in. That is why California has the lowest teacher-to-student ratio of any state in the country.
Unfortunately, the Legislature also approved a massive expansion to Medi-Cal, a health care program that is systemically broken and already fails to fulfill its promise to the California residents it is meant to serve. Expanding this program before fixing its existing problems is a huge disservice to the most vulnerable Californians, many of whom currently have little access to care. Californians deserve better than a budget that expands the size of state government without fixing the basic problems that plague our state.
Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) said the middle class in California were being squeezed out and the budget did very little for them.
“To promote a healthy economy and society we need to invest in education and provide students with pathways to a career. K-12 education should be the top budget priority for our state, yet the increase for education in this budget barely keeps up with inflation. The state needs to invest more in K-12 education generally, and in Career Technical Education specifically.
“Furthermore, this budget fails to include critical funding for vertical prosecution of human trafficking. Rural counties like ours have been fighting to combat human trafficking, which is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. The state needs to support those efforts.”
Steven Choi (R-Irvine) stated the budget had plenty of merits from education funding and funding demands of the courts and easing caseloads, but the budget had many issues.
“Unfortunately, with a $21.5 billion surplus, the budget has many issues and simply comes up short in addressing the real priorities of California and the people. These issues include the lack of Prop 64 funds from the Cannabis ballot initiative not being used, advertised as a means to fund preschool slots; the raise in the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) barely covers the rate of inflation and does nothing to raise California from its 41st position nationally in per pupil spending and last position in teacher to student ratio in the country; increases CalGrant and summer school funding while also adding to the pool of numerous qualified students to also include in-processing asylum seekers; and hundreds of millions of dollars for pork barrel projects.”
“A budget is a statement of our priorities for all to see and identify. It is an expression of our values and unfortunately, this budget fails to make serious progress in several critical areas. It fails students and families by underfunding LCFF for K-12 education and only imperils CalGrant by irresponsibly expanding the pool of eligible applicants on an already stressed program. It pays lip-service to MediCal recipients and fails to address physician reimbursement rates as more and more doctors abandon the system. It fails veterans and disabled persons and most significantly, fails to make real progress to solve California’s staggering homelessness problem. Instead, it grows bureaucracy and kicks-the-can on the critical issues facing California families by not tackling the structural deficiencies that make so many of our programs inefficient or failures.
“Californians deserve better management of their hard earned money than this budget that expands government without addressing the basic issues that cripple our state.”
Bill Brough (R-Dana Point) stated despite the fiscal prudence, the budget became the largest ever and voted against it.
We need to make California more recession proof by preserving additional revenues, not spending nearly every dollar we get. The budget should pay down more structural debt and return money to taxpayers with a $20 billion surplus as most Californians struggle with affordability.
Rather than easing their burdens by creating higher paying jobs and a better economic climate, the budget expands governmental programs that will be first on the chopping block in the next recession. The Department of Finance estimates that even a moderate recession would reduce state revenues by $40 billion.
James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) said he appreciated the budget supports the #campfire recovery but could not support the budget as a whole.
While I was unable to support this budget as a whole, I am pleased that the final compromise includes additional funding to help the #CampFire recovery effort and makes critical investments in wildfire prevention. I appreciate and commend my colleagues and the Governor for making our community a priority. Many of them took the time to see the devastation first-hand and listen to the needs of the community.
This disaster is unlike anything we have ever experienced, with an entire community decimated and displaced. We need these additional resources to ensure access to clean drinking water, continued operations of critical fire stations, and planning for a more wildfire resistant community.
I have been working alongside Senator Jim Nielsen since the fire to secure additional resources to help the Camp Fire recovery effort. We submitted several budget requests to the Governor’s office and legislative budget committees. The final budget contains several of these requests, including $2 million to support critical Butte County, California fire stations, and $10 million to aid in Camp Fire recovery, including funding to support the operations of the Paradise Irrigation District as they restore the Town’s drinking water system.
The budget also includes $800,000 to kick start the Town of Paradise‘s construction of a sewer system for the town’s business district. This project is instrumental in modernizing Paradise’s infrastructure to be more fire-resilient, providing a cornerstone for its future prosperity.
Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals) had mixed feelings on the budget and called for more prudent spending.
I am pleased to see California fill up our reserve funds, but would like to see us be more prudent in our spending. As Vice Chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, I’m concerned with California’s spending problem. With every new program Sacramento funds, more money is taken from the pockets of everyday Californians and programs we care deeply about. A recent audit of Medi-Cal found that 2.4 million children are not getting the care they need, giving us a utilization rate worse than 39 other states. California is unaffordable, and the folks in my district struggle daily with access to health care, crumbling roads, and high taxes. Californians are not getting their money’s worth from their Government.
As we prepare to embrace another wildfire season, I am thankful for a strong focus on disaster preparedness and recovery. California must embrace bold action to fight and prevent devastating wildfires, and the $220 million dedicated to healthy forests does just that. It’s vital that we continue to give our first responders the resources they need to combat these fires including additional funding for fire engines, heavy equipment, fire crews and C-130 air tankers. These resources are welcome confirmation that when disaster strikes, Californians will pull together to support each other and rebuild.
The budget was approved in both the State Assembly and Senate Thursday and heads to the Governors desk where he will likely sign the budget.