From an Assemblyman James Gallagher Press Release
SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman James Gallagher (R-Yuba City) issued the following statement in response to today’s vote on the budget deal between legislative Democrats and Governor Brown, which includes a record $138.6 billion in General Fund spending:
“For the past two years, I have been working with Senator Nielsen and my colleagues to secure a dedicated fund for overdue levee repairs. I am pleased to report that this year we were able to make it happen,” said Gallagher.
“In this budget, $100 million has been allocated for levee maintenance and repair. In addition, there is millions more in funding for vital flood control projects including sediment removal in the Feather River system,” Gallagher continued.
“As we saw with the Oroville Dam crisis, an upfront investment in our water infrastructure can pay dividends in the long run – and that’s why this funding is so important,” said Gallagher.
“Although this and other parts of the budget are worthy investments, I was unable to cast my vote in support of the budget in total. The vast majority of this budget simply does not reflect the values and priorities of my North State constituency,” Gallagher concluded.
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Fixes Vulnerable Levees: At the urging of Senator Nielsen and myself, this budget includes $100 million in funding for levee repairs to keep communities safe from the threat of catastrophic flooding.
Water Tax Defeated: Republicans were able to stop the state’s first-ever tax on drinking water dead in its tracks.
Career Tech Funding: This budget allocates $300 million in Career Technical Education Grants to local education districts and Community Colleges.
Rainy Day Fund: The state’s rainy-day reserve, which Republicans championed for years, is funded at $13.8 billion – the largest allowed under the State Constitution.
Clean the River: Also at the urging of Senator Nielsen and myself, this budget allocates $5 million to the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency to conduct sediment management in the Feather River.
No Tuition Increase: After years of tuition increases for CSU and UC students, both systems are fully funded and have committed to not raising tuition this year.
Unsustainable Growth: This budget has grown by 3 times more than the rate of inflation. It makes sense to invest some budget surplus funding into the rainy day fund and one-time infrastructure needs. However, it is irresponsible to grow ongoing government programs using unstable funding.
Affordability Ignored: This budget does nothing to make California more affordable. We still have a housing crisis, high cost of living, and the highest poverty rate in the nation.
Human Trafficking Victims: Strangely, the budget cuts off all service funding for human trafficking victims after $5 million was allocated last year.
Special Education: Unfortunately, the budget does not provide the funding needed for Special Education programs throughout the state. Republicans will continue to stand up for Californians with disabilities and fight for the funding their programs deserve.
Record Spending: Despite talk of fiscal prudence, this budget increases spending by $11.6 billion this year. Since the start of the Brown Administration, spending is up by $46 billion.
No Funding for Roads: This budget ignores the looming repeal of the $52 billion gas and car taxes. General fund dollars should be allocated to fix California’s crumbling roads.
Criminals Keep Their Guns: Democrats ignored a funding request to address a backlog of 10,000 known criminals in illegal possession of a firearm. At the current pace, it will take the 25 more years to clear the backlog.
Universal Healthcare: The budget includes $5 million to establish a new task force designed to come up with a plan to create a publicly financed health care system in California. Such a system has been estimated to cost $400 billion per year.
Pension Reform: The budget may be balanced this year, but Democrats continue to ignore long term pension debt that is on track to crush taxpayers, schools and local governments.
Assemblyman James Gallagher represents the 3rd Assembly District, which encompasses all of Glenn, Sutter, Tehama and Yuba counties as well as portions of Butte and Colusa counties.
For more information on Assemblyman Gallagher, and to track legislation visit www.assembly.ca.gov/Gallagher