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California Senate Leaders Propose Economic Recovery Plan

San Diego County Water Authority Board Chair Jim Madaffer today praised planning efforts by state Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins of San Diego and other state Senate leaders to help guide California’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The senate plans include funding to create jobs, boost infrastructure investments and to protect renters and landlords.

“We are very appreciative of President pro Tem Toni Atkins’ efforts to advance immediate action on economic recovery and creative solutions to jump-start California’s economy without exacerbating the already-challenging fiscal conditions being experienced at the state and local government levels,” Madaffer said. “We look forward to engaging on the details and partnering with the state to move forward on shovel-ready water and energy infrastructure projects that can help the state’s economic recovery gain traction.”

The Water Authority pledged to work with Sen. Atkins as the Legislature begins the challenging – but necessary – work of crafting comprehensive and responsible solutions to address the crisis and begin the task of restoring the economy.

Economic Recovery Fund

One of the proposals would create a $25 billion Economic Recovery Fund through establishment of prepaid future tax vouchers from 2024 through 2033. The funds could be used to accelerate infrastructure projects and boost the green economy.

It would also create jobs and provide a myriad of services and resources, from small business and worker assistance and retraining to wildfire prevention response and schools most harmed by campus closures.

In addition senate leaders outlined a budget approach to help the state rebound from COVID-19.

“Our goal is to offer ideas for our state budget and economic recovery that take a responsible approach to planning for our state’s spending, while also keeping in mind the needs of Californians, millions of whom have been adversely impacted by the pandemic,” said Atkins.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s First California Budget Deal Is Near. Here’s What To Watch For

The first California budget deal under Gov. Gavin Newsom is just days away. Newsom and legislative leaders must finalize their spending plan for the coming fiscal year this weekend for lawmakers to meet their June 15 constitutional budget deadline. Democrats had hoped to close out the joint Senate-Assembly budget conference committee by Friday — likely with a late night hearing — in hopes of a budget passing the full Legislature next Thursday, two days ahead of next Saturday’s deadline. But it now appears that talks between Newsom, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) and Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) aren’t gelling as fast as hoped.

Gov. Gavin Newsom Faces A Big Political Test As He Shapes His First California Budget

Even in the best of California’s economic glory days, no governor has entered office with the kind of fiscal tail wind that Gov. Gavin Newsom now enjoys. The government’s coffers are full of taxpayer cash, its reserve accounts are stocked to weather an economic slowdown and there’s general consensus on new help for the state’s youngest and most vulnerable residents. A major political victory would seem all but assured as he prepares to unveil a revised state budget this week. And yet, Newsom’s very real challenge is a quandary of quantity: more tax revenue, yes, but also more Democrats in the Legislature after last year’s election landslide and more demands to raise spending.

‘Water Tax’ Debate Continues After California Budget Passage

The California budget doesn’t include it, but Gov. Jerry Brown is not done pushing for a new charge on water users, which would fund clean drinking water in rural areas of the state that currently have unsafe tap water. About a dollar a month for most users would help pay for clean tap water for 200,000 Californians in such communities. Passage of the charge would require approval by two-thirds of state lawmakers.

Editorial: Water Investment Must Include Flood Preparation

The next huge natural catastrophe to strike California might not be an earthquake. New research suggests that a major flood could inundate large swaths of California in the next few decades. The last “200-year flood” was more than 150 years ago, and climate change is jacking up the odds of a repeat sooner rather than later. In order to prepare, state water officials must rethink whether big, costly dams really are the best investment of limited resources.