On the Record with Governor Newsom: One Year of California for All

By Governor Gavin Newsom



There’s no state in America quite like California. In troubled times for the

Nation, California is where the American Dream is alive and well. The most

diverse state in the world’s most diverse democracy, California is big-

hearted, thriving, inclusive and bold.


This year, we’ve been working to build a California for All. Governing by

our values of growth and inclusion, we have made principled yet practical

investments in our people and our future.


Making sure that those investments are built to last, we have budgeted

responsibly for the years ahead. Our balanced, on-time budget created the

largest rainy day fund in state history and paid down California’s wall of

debt.


That budget addressed the biggest challenges we face. Today, I will share

our work to tackle the high cost of living in California, prevent and prepare

for emergencies, and combat homelessness.


First, we’re working to confront the state’s affordability crisis. It is our

state’s foundational economic challenge, which threatens lives and

threatens futures. The things that make it possible to get ahead – housing,

health care, saving for your kids’ college or your retirement – are getting

farther out of reach for Californians.


When I took office last January, I got to work to make life more affordable

for all. Together, we expanded healthcare subsidies to middle-class

Californians. We took on rising prescription drug costs by seeking to

establish the nation’s largest single purchaser system for drugs. We

helped put higher education within reach of more Californians by providing

two free years of community college to first-time, full-time students and

negotiated tuition freezes at California’s universities.


We also put money back in the pockets of California parents by doubling

the state’s Earned Income Tax Credit and adding a $1,000 credit for

families with children under the age of six. We eased the financial burden

on parents by repealing the sales and use tax on diapers.

Second, we are making sure that California is ready for the next natural

disaster, and that communities still recovering from catastrophic wildfires

have what they need to rebuild.


We invested $1 billion to build disaster resiliency, response and recovery –

including funding the pre-positioning of emergency response teams in

times of high-risk wildfire conditions. We launched Listos California, a


statewide network of community organizations that build disaster resiliency

in vulnerable communities.  We also moved the state toward a safer,

affordable and reliable energy future by drafting wildfire safety and

accountability measures and working with the Legislature to create a $21

billion wildfire fund.


Finally, we’re working nonstop to confront the statewide crisis of

homelessness, which impacts 130,000 Californians in every corner of our

state.


We’re pursuing solutions that work. We made a historic $2.75 billion

investment — the most California has ever spent — on programs to fight

homelessness and build more housing. That amount included $650 million

in Emergency Homelessness Aid to cities and counties so that they can

implement the best local solutions for their communities. We’re also

striking at the root causes of homelessness, including the unacceptable

lack of housing construction and unscrupulous landlords who price-gouge

their tenants and unfairly evict them. We negotiated and signed the

nation’s strongest statewide renter protections and worked with technology

companies to secure $4.5 billion towards California’s housing crisis.

We’re “all in” on tackling this crisis because it is a major quality of life issue

not just for the person sleeping on a sidewalk, but for everyone in their

community. We recognize that every homeless individual is someone’s

child, parent, or friend. Many times, they are our service members, who

served honorably in our military and fell onto hard times after they got

home. These individuals are often struggling with mental illness or

substance abuse.


They deserve better than the reckless rhetoric and heartless cuts to the

social safety net that Washington is offering. They deserve the thoughtful

solutions that we are pursuing in California, in partnership with local

governments, the private sector, and philanthropists statewide.

Make no mistake, we have so much more work to do. There are still too

many Californians who do not get to share in the prosperity that they help

to create. For them, and their children – and California’s continued

leadership in the nation and the world – we must boldly confront our

remaining challenges. These challenges demand bold solutions, and

above all, the courage for a change.


Fortunately, we have no shortage of courage here in California, a state of

dreamers and do-ers who are not afraid to take risks for what’s right.

In the year ahead, we’ll continue to work hard and aim high on behalf of all

Californians, and everyone who looks to our state as a beacon of hope.


#govnewsom #californiabudget #housingcrisis #homeless

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