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SACRAMENTO — Governor Newsom signed the California 2020-21 State budget Monday, June 29. Despite pandemic-related fiscal challenges, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) is proud to have secured funding for 56th Assembly District priorities, including over $47 million for New River and Salton Sea mitigation projects, according to the release.

“Despite the fiscal consequences of the global pandemic, our state has passed a balanced budget that maintains funding to priority services and safety-net programs and continues to plan for future economic uncertainty. I am grateful to the governor, Speaker Rendon, and Pro Tem Atkins for their leadership. Together, we have demonstrated our commitment to meet the immediate needs of Californians,” said Assemblymember Garcia.

“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.” 

According to the release, 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 Proposition 68 funds for habitat and air quality improvement along the receding shoreline. 

“The County of Imperial has worked tirelessly to campaign for resources from the State of California and other agencies to address the challenges of the New River and Salton Sea," said Chairman of the Board and District 2 Supervisor, Luis A. Plancarte.  "Our efforts are seeing rewards with Governor Newsom’s approval of the state budget that includes funding for projects in both the New River and Salton Sea.  These additional resources will provide the tools we need to protect the health and safety of our residents and visitors in Imperial County.”  

“The final budget approved $50 million to the Air Pollution Control Fund for implementation of our AB 617 (C. Garcia, E. Garcia), Community Air Protection Program. This past December, the Eastern Coachella Valley joined Imperial Valley as an AB 617 grant eligible area, and our community will have an opportunity to identify emission reduction priorities, submit a plan, and apply for these funds,” shared Garcia.

“The UC Riverside School of Medicine will receive $25 million to expand enrollment and increase operational support. These educational investments will go a long way in helping to bridge regional health disparities.”

“Building on previous state investments to address homelessness, the budget extends $300 million for round two of the Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention (HHAP) program to further assist our local cities and counties. This budget additionally establishes Project Room Key — an emergency housing program. Ensuring that all Californians have a safe place to call home is an issue that predated this pandemic and has become all the more urgent in upholding the health, dignity, and safety of our communities.”

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia also noted the following budget highlights:

  • $5.3 billion to mitigate learning loss and support the immediate needs of students and schools impacted by the pandemic
  • $395 million available for Safe Neighborhood Parks Development Program
  • $31 million to Judicial Council for tenant legal aid
  • $15 million one-time General Fund for emergency financial aid for AB 540 students
  • $10 million to establish a Social Entrepreneurs for Economic Development (SEED) initiative to provide micro-grants and entrepreneurial training to disadvantaged groups who face significant barriers to employment
  • Preserves senior programs: In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) and Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP)
  • Expands California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) to those with Individual Taxpayer Identification Number with at least one child age six or younger

This budget plan continues to fortify the State in the event of further financial uncertainty by leaving billions of General Fund reserves and the Rainy Day Fund.

Norma Sierra Galindo, IID Board President said, “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 uphold California’s obligation to these projects and in doing so, helping improve the quality of life in our local community."

Chairman of the Imperial County Board and District 2 Supervisor, Luis A. Plancarte said, “The County of Imperial has worked tirelessly to campaign for resources from the State of California and other agencies to address the challenges of the New River and Salton Sea. Our efforts are seeing rewards with Governor Newsom’s approval of the state budget that includes funding for projects in both the New River and Salton Sea. These additional resources will provide the tools we need to protect the health and safety of our residents and visitors in Imperial County.”  

More information on the 2020 Budget Act can be found at www.ebudget.ca.gov.

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