Senator Thomas J. Umberg (D-Santa Ana) proudly announced tailored funding in this year’s state budget that will help address the unique and unprecedented challenges facing Orange County communities. The state budget is a series of important funding and policy decisions voted on through several budget bills. In preparation for this round of negotiations, Senator Umberg collaborated with local and statewide leaders to deliver millions of dollars of relief to our communities.
It goes without saying that it has been an incredibly difficult year for us all,” said Senator Umberg. “But through COVID, natural disasters, and a million other controversies, I remain humbled to be diligently working to help bring much-needed and deserved funding to local programs in Orange County and Long Beach.”
Senator Umberg negotiated and secured millions of dollars in state funding, detailed below.
Dual Language Immersion Grant Program – $10 Million
This budget allocation will create a statewide grant program that will award a total of $10,000,000 to support local school districts with dual language immersion programs. Orange County is home to three school districts that offer Vietnamese Dual Language Programs: Anaheim Union High School District, the Westminster School District, and the Garden Grove School District. The funding granted for these programs will allow more students to become bilingual, biliterate, bicultural, and better prepared for success upon graduation.
Statewide Diaper Bank Funding Grants – $30 Million
This budget allocation gives $30,000,000 to California’s Diaper Bank Program, which awards funding to diaper banks across the state. This funding will support the work of Community Action Partnership of Orange County, our community’s regional diaper bank program that has already distributed more than 1 million diapers to families in need.
Santa Ana Public Parks – $2 Million
This budget allocation secures $2,000,000 for the City of Santa Ana to expand greenspace for local residents by renovating various public parks. These investments will ensure that Santa Ana’s park spaces are safe, high quality, ADA accessible, and properly shaded.
Santa Ana Zoo – $2 Million
This budget allocation provides $2,000,000 to the Santa Ana Zoo for the purpose of designing and constructing an educational classroom building. This new onsite facility will help the zoo increase their outreach to underserved youth in our community and involve them in conservation and zoological efforts.
Discovery Cube Orange County – $2 Million
This budget allocation secures $2,000,000 for the Discovery Cube of Orange County to expand access to educational resources and assist the center in reopening amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Prior to the pandemic, this center served over 500,000 students annually and has provided 23 years of service to the Southern California community.
Be Well OC Irvine Campus – $5 Million
This budget allocation secures $5,000,000 for the County of Orange to establish a Be Well OC campus in Irvine. The campus would include clinical services and residential services for mental illness and substance use disorders, treating both adults and youth of the community. The project will include wellness and social services, crisis stabilization units, withdrawal management, and substance use disorder and co-occurring residential treatment, all of which are critical needs for the community. For more information on Be Well OC, please visit their webpage by clicking here.
City of Anaheim Acquisition & Renovation of Kona Motel – $5.5 Million
This budget allocation secures $5,500,000 for the City of Anaheim to acquire the Kona Motel, for conversion into transitional housing for those in need. This funding builds on the work of Senate Bill 450 (Umberg, Statutes of 2019), which streamlined the process for converting run down motels into transitional housing for those experiencing homelessness.
Mendez Freedom Trail of Westminster – $1.5 Million
This budget allocation secures $1,500,000 for the City of Westminster to complete the Mendez Freedom Trail of Westminster. This project will provide greater access to greenspace for local residents and share the story of local hero Sylvia Mendez, a lead plaintiff in Mendez v. Westminster, who at 5 years old successfully challenged her school district’s segregation policy and helped establish the precedent for the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. For more information, please visit the projects webpage by clicking here.
County of Orange Health and Housing Coordination System – $2 Million
This budget allocation secures $2,000,000 for the County of Orange to administer a program that would coordinate data and resources on health, human services, and housing for residents in need. Coordinating various approaches to care is oftentimes the best way to treat the “whole person”, and ensure that finite resources are not wasted. This funding will help improve the quality of assistance our county can provide and prevent waste.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with my colleagues as a part of Orange County’s delegation on these and other statewide funding projects,” noted Senator Umberg. “As a legislator that has served multiple terms in the last thirty years, I can truly say that this delegation is unified like never before and our ability to serve this area is – quite frankly – unmatched to any other time in history.”
Editor’s Note: Emphasis added.