Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach), Chair of the Assembly’s Accountability & Administrative Review Committee, released the following statement in response to the Governor’s May revision proposal for the 2020-21 state budget:
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, one of my top priorities has been supporting California’s 4.1 million small businesses and the more than 10 million workers they employ. I was pleased to help shape early budget efforts that resulted in $2 billion in direct relief for small businesses and nonprofits who have been devastated by the pandemic. I am excited to see this program expanded in the Governor’s proposal to a total of $4 billion, as well as the numerous other initiatives focused on rebuilding our small businesses.
“As we look to steer our economy in the right direction, we must secure our State’s role as a global innovation hub and invest in sectors that holds vast opportunity for job growth and workforce development. The restoration of California’s Research and Development Tax credit is one of the most important policy levers we can pull to encourage investment and growth in California’s innovation economy – and I will continue to champion this as budget negotiations proceed.
“As a mom, I know how important it is to fully return California kids to the classroom this fall. I am pleased this budget proposal includes a record level of investment in California schools, including universal transitional kindergarten and expanded early childhood education. Our schools need more than just temporary support to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, they need a lasting commitment to address long-standing gaps in our education system. I am very supportive of the efforts to provide substantial state funding to support full safe school opening, to stem learning loss and to help California students succeed now and in the future.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, California has maintained our focus on environmental policy, and we remain a global leader in confronting the climate crisis. I am pleased that the Governor’s proposal includes investments in clean transportation programs and infrastructure, climate resilience efforts to address sea level rise, critical conservation investments and innovative solutions to safeguard the health of our communities and our earth.
“California’s $75B budget surplus – inconceivable a year ago – presents us with a once in a generation opportunity to tackle California’s toughest challenges. We should be thinking bold and we should be thinking big. But we also need to ensure that we are getting the basics right. Throughout the pandemic, we have seen too many examples where our government agencies have failed to deliver for Californians. Case in point, the Employment Development Department (EDD) still has over one million unemployment claims outstanding. As budget negotiations continue, I would like to see more detailed, action-oriented plans to fix customer service, modernize call centers, increase claims automation and implement stronger safeguards to combat fraud. Beyond EDD, we need to fix systemic technology failures across the state’s sprawling bureaucracy in order to ensure that California can effectively deliver critical service for all Californians.
“It has been an honor to serve you during this unprecedented time in history. As we emerge from this pandemic, I will continue to fight to represent Orange County families, bring resources back to our district and build back our communities, stronger than before.”
The full summary of the Governor’s budget proposal can be found at http://www.ebudget.ca.gov. The California Constitution requires the Budget Act to be approved by June 15, 2021.
About Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris
Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris represents California’s 74th District including Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa, Laguna Woods and parts of Irvine and Huntington Beach. She is the Chair of the Accountability and Administrative Review Committee and a member of Banking and Finance Committee; Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy Committee; Revenue & Taxation Committee and Veterans Committee. After working her way through Yale University, where she double majored in Economics and English, Cottie had a successful 20-year career in finance and technology. She helped to build businesses and led teams at Fortune 500 corporations, small companies and start-ups. Cottie lives in Laguna Beach with her husband, Colin, their two sons, Dylan and Hayden, and their rescue dog, Flounder.