Assemblymember Chris Holden’s Statement on Governor Newsom’s 2021-2022 Budget

For immediate release:

Sacramento, CA – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom presented his proposed 2021-2022 Budget. Assemblymember Chris Holden released the following statement:

“Today’s budget reflects the challenging times California continues to experience during the COVID-19 Pandemic. I look forward to working with Governor Newsom and my colleagues in the legislature to strengthen and improve the budget to save lives and our economy, while committing to shared priorities like education, affordable housing, and our environment. Our focus, however, at this moment must continue to be the health and well-being of all Californians during this COVID-19 Pandemic.

First, I am encouraged to see the Governor has taken my request to ensure the supplemental wage increase for developmental services are not suspended at the end of the year. We sent a letter to the Governor highlighting the Rate Study that shows the Intellectual and Developmental Disability community was underfunded by $1.4 billion, and stressed the need to extend the supplemental wage increase until the rate methodology can be permanently fixed. The budget now reflects an extension of the sunset date to the end of 2022. Without this extension thousands of service providers would be at risk shutting their doors. Families losing care for their loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities community, especially during a pandemic, would be catastrophic.

Intellectual and developmental disability service providers have gone above and beyond to serve their clients – making sacrifices in their own lives while being paid menial wages due to an outdated reimbursement system. We stepped in to ask the Governor to make a decision in the budget to value and honor the work of these employees by extending the rate increase, and today, we are one step closer to ensuring the intellectual and developmental disability community has what they need to continue to provide much needed services to our loved ones.

After almost a year of living through this Pandemic nightmare, it’s clear that disadvantaged communities are disproportionately affected, whether directly through higher cases, hospitalizations, and deaths or indirectly through lower education quality due to lack of resources. I applaud the Governor for recognizing these discrepancies and look forward to working with him to ensure a just recovery.

The Governor’s proposed $372 million to speed up administration of vaccines across all of California’s 58 counties is essential to getting us out of the Pandemic, which will allow us to adequately address all other issues.

The proposed $14 billion investment in our economic recovery are urgently needed for those folks seeking relief from the loss of their jobs or business to the Pandemic.

The Governor is proposing a historic level of investments in education totaling over $90 billion for K-12 in additional to a higher education tuitions freeze. We simply cannot let the Pandemic prevent us from investing in our future. (600,000 from federal?)

As we continue to experience the effects of climate change like catastrophic wildfires among others disasters, Governor Newsom’s proposed $1.5 billion comprehensive strategy to achieve the state’s zero-emission vehicle goals by 2035 and 2045 shows his continued commitment to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. The proposed additional $1 billion fire prevention that maximizes technology and science-based approaches to protect state forestlands is vital to preventing extreme wildfire events.”