When the Legislature reconvened in January there were hopes the Governor and Legislature – bolstered by a vibrant economic picture and healthy budget reserves – were set to tackle some of California’s most challenging issues, i.e. affordable housing, the increasing homeless situation, California’s high poverty rate, the digital divide and education funding.
However, with a shortened session due to the spread of COVID-19 and the economic impact of the recession that was trigged by the pandemic, priorities were refocused to a number of top issues including providing relief for tenants struggling to pay rents due to economic impacts, ushering in policing reforms, increasing housing production opportunities, reducing the state’s dependence on plastics in packaging, and increasing access to health care – particularly in California’s rural communities.
While the Legislature saw a flurry of policy activity in each of these areas in the final weeks of the session, the reality is that the major issues plaguing the state require massive funding. In January, the state had a surplus of over $20 billion dollars and a rainy-day reserve.
As the Legislature adjourned for the 2020 legislative session, the state has, at least, a $54 billion hole in the budget and no plan to address it other than hoping for tax increases via two ballot propositions.
We are pleased to provide you with the 2020 CPSA/PHTA Legislative Session Report.