Gov. Gavin Newsom’s recently revised state budget proposal represents the uncertainty of these times and details the devastating cuts our state will be facing if Congress does not act to provide relief.
The social and economic impacts of COVID-19 have hit Californians, especially our most vulnerable, hard. It is critical that we do not lose sight of how our decisions will affect families and hard-working Californians, many of whom were already struggling to keep a roof over their heads.
As the Legislature partners with the governor to craft a balanced budget, I will be paying close attention to a few areas of concern.
Across the country, news reports are shining a light on the dark truth that domestic violence has increased since COVID-19 stay at home orders have been implemented. At the same time, statistics show an alarming drop in child abuse reports because teachers, who often make these reports, have not seen their students in weeks.
California has 24 Family Justice Centers that provide services and support to victims of inter-personal violence, including domestic abuse, child and elder abuse and human trafficking. As we look for ways to ensure that all Californians are safe during these times, we should consider funding existing places, like Family Justice Centers, that are providing life-saving services to those who need help most.
Before this pandemic-induced recession, our state – and specifically our community of the Bay Area – was already facing a housing and homelessness crisis. While California has implemented policies such as Project Roomkey to ensure that homeless individuals have safe housing conditions during the pandemic, this is only a temporary first step. We must consider long-term solutions for housing the homeless that include wraparound services and policies that will spur new housing production to close our ever-growing housing deficit. It is critical that we do not allow this pandemic to compound our existing housing struggles.
Local governments, which are on the frontlines providing direct services during the pandemic, have been hit incredibly hard. Cities will need the state’s assistance to preserve public education, public health, public safety and jobs as they are already facing cuts. The state needs to dedicate funding for localities already grappling with budget deficits so that they do not have to face devastating and impossible budgetary decisions.
These are just a few of my priorities, and not all solutions will be found in the budget. I know that there must be legislative action that works in tandem with the budget to produce results, which is why I am co-authoring Assembly Bill 1842 that will allow us to take immediate action to revitalize our economy, create job opportunities and provide needed relief for businesses most impacted by COVID-19. We need results so that people are not limited to fighting for survival, but are able to prosper and live the American Dream here in California .
If you would like to learn more about the work I’m doing in Sacramento or if you need assistance during these difficult times, please call my Concord office at 925-521-1511. It is my pleasure to serve you.
Visit or write Assemblyman Tim Grayson at the district office 2151 Salvio Street, Suite P, Concord, CA 94520