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Governor Newsom Signs 2020 Budget Act

-Editorial

Governor Gavin Newsom signed the 2020 Budget Act – a $202.1 billion spending plan that strengthens emergency response, protects public health and safety, and promotes economic recovery while closing a $54.3 billion budget shortfall caused by the COVID-19 recession.

“In the face of a global pandemic that has also caused a recession across the world and here in California, our state has passed a budget that is balanced, responsible and protects public safety and health, education, and services to Californians facing the greatest hardships,” said Governor Newsom. “I thank Pro Tem Atkins, Speaker Rendon, and both houses of the Legislature for their continued partnership and leadership during this challenging moment in our state’s history.”

The Budget makes critical investments to save lives and promote economic recovery by continuing critical purchases of personal protective equipment and other safeguards necessary to safely reopen the economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. It protects public education and supports Californians facing the greatest hardships – since the pandemic is having a disproportionate impact on lower-wage workers, communities of color, and is further exacerbating income inequality. Finally, the Budget supports job creation, economic recovery, and opportunity by recognizing and supporting the critical role small businesses play in job creation in the state.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every sector of the state’s economy and has caused record-high unemployment – almost 1 in 5 Californians who were employed in February were out of work in May – and further action from the federal government is needed given the magnitude of the crisis. The Governor continues his efforts to secure $1 trillion in flexible federal aid to state and local governments across the country. This additional support is critical to mitigate the worst effects of the public health crisis, encourage recovery, and support Californians in need.

The budget included over $47 million for the New River and the Salton Sea mitigation projects. Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia celebrated this achievement.

“Five years ago, we made this our mission, and now with the Governor’s signature, we have secured over $47 million for New River and Salton Sea mitigation projects. Protecting these critical local environmental and public health priorities from cuts during these difficult times is a major victory for our district. More than ever, we must advance projects that safeguard public health, improve environmental conditions, and bring economic relief to our most vulnerable areas.”

The New River Improvement Project in Calexico will receive a total of $28 million to commence with clean-up; $18 million coming from the General Fund, and $10 million from Proposition 68. The North Lake Project, part of the Salton Sea Management Plan, will receive $19,250,000 from our Proposition 68 funds for habitat and air quality improvement along the receding shoreline.

The Imperial Irrigation District reacted to the news.

“IID has been a strong advocate for continued funding to help address the challenges posed by the New River and the Salton Sea. We are very pleased to learn the Governor’s budget, signed yesterday, includes new funds for projects in the amounts of $28 million for the New River and $19.3 for the Salton Sea. We appreciate the Governor’s commitment to upholding California’s obligation to these projects and in doing so, helping improve the quality of life in our local community,” stated Norma Sierra Galindo, IID Board President.

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