SACRAMENTO – State Senator Bob Wieckowski, a member of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee and the chair of its subcommittee on Resources, Environmental Protection and Energy, issued the following statement today on Governor Gavin Newsom’s state budget.
“Approving our state budget is one of the most important actions we take as legislators. But this year, given the vast challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, our economy, the need to prevent mass evictions, education and our worsening climate crisis, it’s extraordinarily important.
“I applaud the Governor’s proposal to partner with the Legislature on expanding funding to build on the $500 million in California Relief Grants to small businesses and nonprofits impacted by Covid-19. These grants will enable many businesses to sustain their operations through the pandemic and retain employees, while also assisting nonprofits to continue providing vital services to our local communities.
“As we begin work on this proposal with hearings next week, my legislative colleagues and I will prepare a budget that addresses these and other challenges in an equitable way that assists Californians who have been most adversely affected by this pandemic.
“As chair of our budget subcommittee that oversees our Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, I look forward to collaborating with the administration and my colleagues on proposals to expand our zero emission vehicle infrastructure and to further enhance our ability to prevent and fight wildfires in California. With President Biden taking office in 12 days, we will have more assistance on climate issues. It presents a great opportunity to redouble our efforts and my expectation is that the California Air Resources Board and the Newsom administration will take a critical look at our Cap and Trade system and put us on a more realistic path to achieving our 2030 target of reducing GHG emissions by 40 percent below the 1990 total. With a Democratic House of Representatives, U.S. Senate and White House, we are finally primed to take more meaningful action on climate change.”