Assemblymember Jim Wood Responds to Budget Deal
SACRAMENTO–The budget deal agreed to by Democrat leaders and Governor Brown was announced today and will be voted on next week.
“The state budget is very complex and I remain focused on the many challenging issues facing the people in the 2nd Assembly District,” said Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa). “I’m pleased to see that some of those issues will receive funding and that we will continue to build our reserves to meet anticipated future economic downturns.”
“Funding for making progress toward universal health care, however, is totally inadequate in this budget,” said Wood. “Although this budget funds what we consider to be the building blocks of universal health care – an all-payer data base that compiles what we currently pay various health care providers for services and a process to develop a roadmap, including timelines, to achieve a unified, publicly financed health care system – it does not go nearly far enough. Our proposals to acquire funding to make health care premiums more affordable for low- and middle-income folks and to expand Medi-Cal and make changes that allow aged, blind and disabled people to more easily qualify for care, were not included and this is very disappointing.”
In response to the devastating fires that hit the North Bay and North Coast areas last year, this budget will provide tens of millions of dollars to help schools recover from a loss in funding, the result of students being displaced and unable to attend their neighborhood schools. “Schools depend on a funding formula that is based on attendance, and the schools had no control over this funding loss. We needed to find a way to fix that, so we introduced AB 2228. Once the budget is signed, our bill will have served its purpose.”
Earlier this year, Wood introduced AB 2551 which would access $250 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to be used to improve forest management and reduce wildfire risks. “That bill has been moving through the process,” said Wood, “but will not be needed because, in May, the Governor issued an Executive Order allocating $256 million for forest thinning and watershed management which aligns exactly with what we’ve been fighting for all along in my bill.”
This budget does provide funding for low-income housing, Veteran’s resource centers, the California State University system, which includes $1.5 million to address student food insecurity and basic needs and $500 million to address our significant statewide homelessness issue.
“My overall reaction to this budget proposal is that it is a start, and only a start, to the many challenges we are facing in our communities and across the state,” said Wood. “While it may get the ball rolling, we need a longer term commitment to get us where we need to be.”
Assemblymember Jim Wood (D- Santa Rosa) represents the 2nd Assembly District, which includes all of Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt and Mendocino counties, plus northern and coastal Sonoma County, including the northern half of Santa Rosa.