The governor’s spending plan is a balanced and focused priority list of what we need to address now:
Health care during this devastating pandemic, taking concrete steps toward accelerating and ensuring economic recovery for all Californians, including small business and workforce development funding, providing financial and job assistance to struggling families, the homeless and additional assistance to schools so they can safely re-open and make up for lost learning time.
I am pleased that a priority reflected in the budget is helping local governments so they can meet the vast needs in our communities.
I am also gratified for Gov. Garin Newsom’s continuing support for suicide prevention measures and the homeless mentally ill. Student mental health assistance and allowing the spending down of Mental Health Services Act reserves are critical. These proposals and others in the budget acknowledge that the coronavirus has taken an enormous mental as well as physical toll.
The one-time $26 billion surplus in this year’s budget underscores the resiliency of our global economy, but we cannot take this strength for granted. Despite blows to California’s economic security, we must continue finding ways to strengthen and invest in the well-being of all who live in our state.
Assemblyman James Ramos represents the 40th Assembly District, which includes Highland, Loma Linda, Mentone, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands and San Bernardino. He is the first and only California Native American serving in the state’s Legislature.