Assembly Democrats Outline 2020-21 Budget Priorities
On Monday, December 9, 2019, Assembly Budget Committee chairman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), released his house’s Blueprint for a Responsible Budget, which identifies the Assembly’s priorities for investments based on the Legislative Analyst’s recent report that projects a $7 billion State Budget surplus going into fiscal year 2020-21.
The blueprint highlights the almost $6 billion included in the budget for pensions, the nearly $2 billion for housing and homelessness, and the approximately $4 billion for new ongoing investments including $638 million for the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) systems and $550 million for health care.
While not addressing community colleges specifically, in the area of education, the blueprint calls for:
- Providing funding for preschool facilities
- Expanding access to early care and education programs
- Helping K–12 schools deal with funding needs
- Improving the state’s special education programs
- Increasing higher education access at CSU, adding to California student enrollment at UC, and reforming financial aid
The blueprint also aims to continue to build the state’s reserves, keep the budget out years balanced, build on existing investments to improve health care access and affordability, support Californians impacted by the recent federal cuts to food programs, provide the Earned Income Tax Credit to all working families, implement housing and homelessness investments, and expand paid family leave.
The release of the blueprint falls weeks ahead of the January 10, 2020, release of the Governor’s 2020–21 State Budget proposal. The Senate is also expected to reveal its spending priorities in the next several weeks, all of which set the stage for next year’s State Budget negotiations.