“This large budget surplus presents a pivotal opportunity to address our state’s most pressing challenges in ways that will benefit all Californians. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for the state’s diverse regions. We must make certain that region-driven approaches are the result.
California Forward is encouraged to see that Governor Newsom’s 2022-23 state budget proposal recognizes the critically important role regions and communities have in developing solutions that balance equity, environmental sustainability and economic growth with investments that build on the historic Community Economic Resilience Fund.
The inclusion of an additional $1.2 billion to support wildfire prevention and forest health is an important step to help reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires. This investment supports solutions the California Economic Summit and California Stewardship Network have advanced, including community hardening to reduce the impact of wildfires on homes, increasing regional capacity and growing the wood products industry. While these investments are meaningful, experience and analysis suggest greater investments are needed. CA FWD and partners will continue to advocate for annual investments of $3 billion to $5 billion to meet long-term needs.
We applaud the governor for proposing a budget that will help the state move forward on the urgent and necessary energy transition. Providing funding that can help workers transition to a new green economy in regions like Kern County is an important and practical investment, and will be a focus of the 2022 California Economic Summit in Bakersfield on Oct. 27-28.”
Statement on behalf of Micah Weinberg, CEO of CA FWD, www.cafwd.org