Assembly, Senate Budget Falls Short on Key Environmental Justice Priorities


June “Placeholder Budget” Requires Deeper Investments in Low-Income, Communities of Color

Sacramento, CA — On June 14th, the California State Legislature narrowly passed a placeholder budget before the June 15 budget deadline with substantially different allocations than those proposed in Governor Newsom’s May Revision. Negotiations on the June budget are anticipated to continue into July.

This week, the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA) continues to urge lawmakers to pass an equitable 2021–2022 Budget through a letter to the Governor and Senate and Assembly Leadership. In the letter, CEJA requested that State leaders incorporate key environmental justice priorities into the final budget.

In response to the passing of a June placeholder budget, CEJA Policy Manager Raquel Mason issued the following statement:

As California residents brace for yet another year of severe drought and record-setting wildfires, CEJA calls upon Governor Newsom and the Legislature to eliminate funding for costly and dangerous false solutions that derail our state’s efforts for a just recovery; and, instead, invest deeply in programs that strengthen community well-being and address environmental and climate-related crises.

With a record budget surplus, now is the time to prioritize life-sustaining programs and infrastructure such as community resilience centers, and make substantial investments in low-income and communities of color by fully funding the Low-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP), forgiving water and energy utility debt, and providing eviction defense funds for vulnerable renters across the state.

Critical, community-led programs such as the Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) program should not be cut from the budget, and CEJA urges state leaders to adopt the Governor’s proposal to fund the TCC program over three years. In addition, funding for transportation equity programs and staffing positions for the State’s oil and gas regulator, the California Geologic Energy Management Division (CalGEM) are essential for protecting community health and well-being.

Until the ink is dry on a final budget, CEJA is committed to working with the Newsom Administration and the Legislature to ensure that sufficient investments flow to low-income communities of color on the frontlines of poverty and pollution.

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