Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) released the following statement regarding the Governor Newsom’s 2022-23 State Budget proposal, the California Blueprint:
“While we continue to navigate through this pandemic and the challenges it has presented, I want to applaud the Governor on the California Budget Blueprint. As we all know, the 2022-23 State Budget proposed today is a work in progress but also an important starting point with critical and much needed investments in climate change, education, housing, and many other issues affecting Californians. Investments proposed today will continue to help our state recover from the effects of the pandemic, and establish long-term solutions to challenges we are facing today.
I am proud to have long been a champion of California’s education system and take pride in the excellent schools of the 25th Senate District. Governor Newsom’s California Budget Blueprint focuses on new funding for universal preschool, expanded after-school and summer programs, special education, facilities modernization, and school nutrition – all of which are encouraging investments and critical for the success of our students and the betterment of our education system. Particularly important is the proposed $937M for arts and music investment – which improves academic achievement and is important for student development, including mental health. I am excited that the California Budget Blueprint addresses dyslexia by proposing an increase of $10M in one-time General Fund investments to support the University of California San Francisco Dyslexia Center. As someone who has struggled with dyslexia and advocated for student screening for risk of dyslexia early on in academic life, I appreciate this investment and look forward to increased support on dyslexia related issues.
I am excited and encouraged by the Governor's recognition of the financial problems associated with relying completely on ADA to fund our schools and that these circumstances and impacts have been exacerbated by the pandemic. He also ended his presentation by saying the budget proposal would evolve through the budget hearing process and with the input from the Legislature. I am very much looking forward to following up with the administration and making the case that this is the perfect time to enact the structural reforms necessary to better fund our schools and to create the stability that education leaders need to better serve our children. The Governor's instincts are right!
I am also encouraged by the focus on making college more affordable through cost of living adjustments, health care investments, and expanding Cal Grant access and middle class scholarship. At times like this, we must continue to fully fund our schools in order to ensure our youth achieve academic success and we prepare the next generation of leaders as best we can.
Finally, I am very grateful to the Governor for continuing to support our small businesses – the backbone of our economy. As we continue extending the small business COVID-19 grant program, it is important that we support direct grants to small businesses to help them survive these difficult times.
We will continue to build on our strong fiscal foundation, which includes $34.6 billion in reserves, and I look forward to working with the Governor and my colleagues on building a responsible and sound budget. There is still much work to be done and I am eager to share my perspective during these discussions."