CA FWD Statement on Governor Newsom’s 2023-24 Budget Revision

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As California contends with a challenging budget situation in the face of falling revenue, CA FWD encourages Governor Newsom and the Legislature to maintain and prioritize smart, forward-thinking investments that benefit all Californians over the long term, including housing, education and workforce, infrastructure, climate adaptation and resilience, broadband access and support for small businesses.

With tough decisions ahead for lawmakers, we will continue to champion alignment of the state budget with the 2023 Roadmap priorities of CA FWD, its partners, the California Economic Summit work groups, the California Stewardship Network and our Young Leaders Advisory Council.

We applaud the governor for advancing a historic infrastructure action plan aimed at streamlining project delivery, amplifying California’s share of the federal infrastructure funding and prioritizing projects focused on community needs, equity and meeting our climate goals. Even with the state facing a significant budget deficit, these steps will help close gaps in critical infrastructure spending while bringing jobs and projects to historically underinvested communities.

The proposal to sustain funding wildfire prevention and forest health by maintaining a $2.7 billion investment over four years is a justifiable step to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires which exact a huge cost on Californians every year. This ongoing investment supports actions the California Economic Summit work groups and California Stewardship Network have advanced, including community hardening, increasing regional capacity and developing the wood products industry.

While we applaud holding the line on wildfire and forest funding, CA FWD and partners will continue to advocate for annual investments of $3 billion to $5 billion to meet long-term needs.

Finally, while the Governor’s revision does not propose dipping into California’s Rainy Day Fund, as key proponents of the Fund, CA FWD is proud to see the Fund continues to provide a foundation for mitigating possible devastating cuts to programs that help many Californians to survive and thrive in difficult times.

We look forward to working with the governor and Legislature to build consensus and ensure the current fiscal storm does not wear down the promise of an equitable, inclusive and sustainable future for all Californians.