We have a new Governor, a new budget plan and a new legislative session that just began. Needless to say, many very important issues will be discussed in Sacramento over the coming months.
The budget’s education initiatives would freeze UC and CSU tuition, make the first two years at community colleges free, make Cal-Grants more widely available and expand other aid programs. K-14 education funding would grow, including plans for universal preschool and efforts to help districts resolve their unfunded pension liabilities.
The budget includes a proposal to create a statewide purchasing pool intended to drive down prescription drug costs for all Californians by making the state the sole price negotiator/purchaser of prescription drugs. To improve mental healthcare and reduce homelessness, added expenditures are proposed to increase training for public mental health practitioners. And Medi-Cal resources would be increased so that better healthcare would be available throughout California’s underserved areas.
In the wake of recent wildfires, Cal Fire would be updated with new equipment, including new air tankers and fire engines. Prescribed burns and other fuel reduction efforts that lead to improved forest health would reduce fire danger. California’s Public Utilities Commission would oversee wildfire mitigation plans, and require compliance with mandates aimed at decreasing utility-caused fires.
Efforts to increase housing affordability, provide additional paid leave for child care, upgrade the 911 system, along with many other initiatives, are all major issues for this session.
What do you think? These policies and the budget will be reviewed, debated and modified over the coming months and I’d love to hear from you about some of these proposals. You can view the Governor’s budget here: http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/
I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle as we dig into these important issues.
Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.