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Senator Bates on budget vote: California can do better

Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) issued the following statement after the Senate approved a 2021-22 budget proposal agreed to by Assembly and Senate Democrats:

“Everyone knows the real purpose of today’s vote – it is to ensure the Legislature continues to get paid after June 15. Only the Governor knows whether he will sign this budget or not.

“I did not support today’s budget because California can do better. It is unwise for this budget to pay down only $2 billion of the state’s $24 billion unemployment insurance debt, which is essentially a jobs tax.

“I urge the Governor to fully pay off the debt and replenish the state’s rainy day fund to prepare for the next economic recession. It makes no sense for the state to use its rainy day fund given the historic ‘surplus.’

“The budget also continues to reduce funding for prisons despite violent crime rising across the state. Defunding prisons and making more prisoners eligible for early release will put our communities at greater risk.

“Finally, this budget continues to grant the Governor emergency spending authority even though the state will be fully reopening tomorrow. The Legislature needs to reclaim its status as an equal branch of government and end his emergency powers now. An emergency without end is a recipe for more abuse.”

This article was released by the Office of Senator Patricia Bates.