July 8, 2022
As California Legislators break for Summer Recess this month, deadlines for amending, signing, and vetoing bills are right around the corner. NGP remains hard at work preparing for the final months of the 2021-2022 legislative session! This edition of What’s Next breaks provides a Budget update, discusses how California can protect reproductive services on the November ballot, shares ways you can take action to fight climate change by joining the Climate Corps, and highlights more news happening here at NGP and around our State Capitol!
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★ An Update On Our Top Budget Items and Priority Bills: Last week, the California Legislature passed the state Budget, which then was quickly signed by Governor Newsom. The Budget bill includes several key commitments to fund our top issues and provides funding and resources for many of our priority bills. Success!
Here’s a breakdown of important budget wins and also what NGP will continue to fight for in the coming weeks with your help:
- Climate $54B – Win! The signed budget bill includes roughly half of the $39B climate package we’ve been advocating for the state to fund this year. This builds upon last year’s historic $15B California climate budget. Negotiations will continue in August to finalize the full climate budget investments California will make in clean energy, sustainable communities, environmental justice, and to fight extreme weather events in the coming years.
- Healthy School Meals Pathway Program, $45M – Win! California will allocate $45M to create the California Healthy School Meals Pathway Program – a workforce training pipeline for school food workers.
- DFPI, $10M – Win! To help address the student loan debt crisis – the budget provides $10M to create a student loan borrower outreach campaign at the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI).
- Cal Grant Program, $315M – Win! Now California can finally systematically address college affordability. By fully funding the Cal Grant Equity Framework, we can streamline the much overdue reform of the Cal Grant program.
- Healthcare4All, $300M – Win! To expand health insurance access, California will allocate $300M for providing universal access to MediCal for all Californians, regardless of income or immigration status.
Priority Bill Updates – Here’s an update on some of our most frequently mentioned priority bills:
- SB 17 (Pan) – Office of Racial Equity – the coalition is still working to achieve full funding for this office, but unfortunately we are not getting much traction. The final decision will be up to Governor Newsom and his Administration on whether the bill is sent to his desk. This August, be on the lookout for ways you can stay engaged and help us make a final push towards achieving equity for all Californians by establishing the statewide Office of Racial Equity.
- SB 907 (Pan) – Local Equitable Access to Food (LEAF) – passed its final policy committee last week with unanimous support! The money to fully fund the SB 907 program is still pending a decision by Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins, and Governor Newsom. We continue to push for full funding of the LEAF Program this year to help all Californians gain access to locally-grown, nutritious foods, regardless of income, by increasing the number of farmers’ markets in our state.
- CADE – California Alliance for Digital Equity – advocated for AB 2750 (Bonta) when it was passed by the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee. Two important bills we’ve been strongly supporting related to broadband access and affordability – AB 2748 (Holden) and AB 2751 (Garcia) – were put on hold this year, but we’re working with CADE, state agencies, and local community organizations to strategize around next year’s effort to achieve universal, affordable internet for all Californians.
★ What’s Next: There’s still lots of work to be done on our priority bills and some remaining budget items in the coming weeks! In August, once the Legislature’s Summer Recess concludes, bills will head to fiscal committees, floor votes will take place, and unresolved budget items will get negotiated. We’ll be bringing you along for the ride and sharing information and updates with you, so stay tuned!
NextGen Policy fights for progressive policy change to address environmental, social, racial, and economic inequities through justice-centered legislative advocacy, grassroots partnerships, and democratic civic engagement.
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