Sen. Steven Glazer applauded passage of a new state budget on June 13 that provides record funding for schools and universities, and makes key investments to fight homelessness and make health insurance more affordable.
The budget also accelerates payment of the state’s outstanding debt and sets aside billions in reserves to sustain essential programs and services in the next recession.
“This is a responsible budget that sets priorities matching what Californians say they value most: education, health care and housing,” Glazer said.
“At the same time, the budget puts nearly $20 billion into our rainy-day funds — the biggest fiscal insurance policy the state has ever had.”
The budget provides more than $2 billion in new money for K-12 education, a total of about $5,000 per pupil more than eight years ago. It increases funding for the Local Control Funding Formula, which goes to all school districts and can be spent according to local needs, and helps the schools pay down a portion of their future pension obligations.
Glazer said he was especially pleased with more than $600 million dedicated to expanding special education and $250 million to increase reimbursements for programs serving families with developmental service needs.
“Services for children and adults with special needs have been spread too thin ever since the Great Recession,” Glazer said. “We need to invest more in these crucial programs.”
Glazer also lauded the higher funding included in the budget to provide housing and services to get homeless people off the streets and increased subsidies to make health insurance more affordable for people buying coverage through Covered California.
The budget also includes full funding for the University of California and the CSU that will enable the universities to freeze tuition and enroll an additional 15,000 qualified California high school graduates.
Full funding was allocated for the CSU graduation initiative as well as increased resources for summer school financial aid to help students graduate in four years if they desire to do so.
In addition, a major increase to the Earned Income Tax Credit will provide tax relief for low income families.