INFO ALERT: Money for BizFed priorities in $300B budget

Posted July 1st, 2022 | Status:

It’s official! Governor Gavin Newsom has signed the heftiest state budget ever, weighing in at a whopping $307.9 billion. That’s $307,900,000,000 with all the zeroes. But will this historic state spending zero out concerns weighing down hard-working families still struggling to recover from the economic and emotional toll of California’s response to the coronavirus pandemic?


INFLATION RELIEF

The record deal hammered out by Newsom and the Legislature includes necessary pots of money to alleviate some of the crushing stress caused by rising inflation and record fuel costs. The budget will draw from the massive $97 billion surplus to send gas refund payments to 17.5 million Californians, returning approximately $9.5 billion to taxpayers. Eligible Californians will receive between $200 and $1,050, depending on how much they earn and how many people are in their family.

  • Single filers who earn less than $75,000 and couples who earn less than $150,000 will get $350 rebates per taxpayer, plus an extra $350 per dependent.
  • Single filers who earn less than $250,000 and couples earning less than $500,000 will get $200 rebates per taxpayer, plus $200 per dependent.

Californians won’t get the relief payments until October at the earliest. Disbursements will continue through early 2023. The $17-billion inflation relief packages also includes $1.4 billion in utility payment aid, $250 million for paid sick leave grants, $75 million in drought relief grants, and a suspension of the state’s 23-cent diesel tax. It doesn’t suspend the state’s gas tax.

At 53.9 cents per gallon, California’s gas tax is the second highest in the nation – and just rose again today.


BIZFED WINS

We’re buoyed to see notable funding in the budget for BizFed-backed projects and priorities that will improve quality of life for all Californians. This year’s final budget supports one transportation issue we advocated for and all three housing issues we advocated for, plus funding for BizFed-backed earthquake resilience legislation. The spending plan will advance our goals to dramatically increase housing production, make neighborhoods safer, increase drought resiliency, improve schools, and accelerate the movement of goods and people, with the following investments:

  • $1.5 billion for bridge housing to help unhoused individuals with serious mental illness.
  • $300 million for local government encampment grants.
  • Expands the state’s ability to build affordable housing on state-owned excess sites.
  • $500 million to establish the California Dream for All homeownership assistance program.
  • $2 billion for student housing through 2025.
  • Creates new funding opportunities for the Infill Infrastructure Grant Program.
  • $2.8 billion for water infrastructure and conservation promotion, building on last year’s $5.2 billion commitment.
  • $14.8 billion total for transportation, including $1 billion for Active Transportation Programs.
  • Allows CalSTA to offer grants for high-priority ports projects that increase goods movement capacity on rail and roadways. Sets aside 70% of appropriated funds for projects at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.
  • Funds the Seismic Retrofitting Program established by AB 1721.

ADVOCACY UPDATE

As the first half of 2022 draw to a close and key legislative deadlines pass, we want to also give you an update on the status of our collective advocacy efforts. In 2022, BizFed has taken positions on 42 state legislative bills, 22 state and local regulatory issues, and 13 ballot initiatives. We’ve already logged major victories, defeating the following four bills:

  • AB 2840 (Reyes): Would have prohibited logistics projects from being built within 1,000 feet of a “sensitive reception.”
  • SB 1173 (Gonzalez): Would have required California’s retirement system to divest from fossil fuels.
  • AB 1001 (Garcia): Would have added onerous measures to CEQA.
  • SB 12 (McGuire): Makes it more difficult to build housing in wildfire areas – even if the housing has already been approved.

Click below and open our ACTION UPDATE for a list of bills to watch.


Wishing you a safe and relaxing 4th that gives you time to reflect on our ever-important roles in the democratic process,


Tracy Hernandez

BizFed Founding CEO