Historic Budget Funds Key Priorities Championed by Rivas
- Bella Romero
- Communications Director
SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Rivas (D-Salinas) released the following statement on the historic $262.6 billion state budget approved by the California Legislature today. Once signed by the Governor, the budget will go into effect on July 1 and includes expanded funding for a variety of priorities championed by Asm. Rivas—including sustainable agriculture, climate resilience, farmworker housing, and equitable access to high-quality education.
This historic budget agreement reflects the Legislature’s and Governor Newsom’s shared commitment to ensuring California roars back after the pandemic, with a record $12 billion to tackle homelessness over the next two years, $8.1 billion for a second round of Golden State Stimulus payments ranging from $600 to $1,100 for most Californians, and an additional $1.5 billion in urgently needed grants for small businesses and nonprofits. Once again, California leads the nation in prioritizing its most vulnerable citizens and promising a just, sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state will also protect residents who struggled to pay rent throughout the pandemic with $5.2 billion in funding to cover 100% of back rent and up to three months of advance rent for eligible tenants and landlords. With rent covered and the moratorium on evictions extended through September 30, 2021, California is providing much-needed economic relief for some of our hardest-hit residents.
While we protect our renters, small businesses, and unhoused communities, we did not forget the farmworkers who have been on the frontline of the ongoing pandemic. The pandemic impacted these essential workers at a disproportionate rate—they were left vulnerable when they should have been protected. That is why, this year, I prioritized much-needed funding for affordable farmworker housing, and I’m grateful to see $50 million allocated to this issue. Additionally, the budget includes $3 million for the Department of Community Services for the development of Farmworker Resource Centers and one-time, $23.37 million in funding for the Low-Income Weatherization Program, which services can be accessed by low-income farmworkers.
I’m also grateful to see $200 million in new funding in the budget to expand the Golden State Teacher Grant program, which I created and the Governor implemented in 2019. When I worked in education, I saw firsthand how teachers can impact lives. This grant program is an incredible opportunity for our state to help aspiring teachers meet staffing needs in subject areas such as STEM, bilingual education, and special education.
Also, as Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, I’m grateful that the budget includes funding for the following agricultural programs and initiatives:
- $436 million in new funding for sustainable and equity programs, including $50 million for the Healthy Soils Program, $5.4 million for technical assistance for Underserved Farmers, and $500,000 for the Senior Farmers Program.
- $32.1 million in new funding for the UC Agricultural and Natural Resources (ANR) Division, including a permanent, ongoing position of Agricultural and Rural Economic Advisor.
- $1.385 billion in funding to the State Water Resources Control Board for drinking water and wastewater projects, as well as groundwater cleanup and water recycling projects.
Finally, I’m proud to see the budget’s significant investments in a $3.7 billion Climate Resiliency Package, including funding for agriculture and food supply resilience. This funding is critical as the impacts of climate change are accelerating—especially in our lower-income and disadvantaged inland communities—so our solutions need to accelerate. An investment in climate resilience is an investment in California’s future.
For more information on the 2021-2022 enacted budget, visit ebudget.ca.gov.
Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Salinas) represents California’s 30th Assembly District, which includes all or portions of the cities and towns of Aromas, Big Sur, Chualar, Gilroy, Greenfield, Gonzales, Hollister, King City, Morgan Hill, Salinas, San Martin, San Juan Bautista, Soledad, Spreckels, and Watsonville.