May 20, 2021

LAWT News Service 


The California Legislative Black Caucus (CLBC) issues the following statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s May Revision to the 2021-22 state budget.

“Governor Newsom’s May Revision released on Friday has a series of bold and transformative one-time and ongoing proposals that addresses a bevy of challenges so many Californians face while creating a path forward to healing and equitable recovery,” said Senator Steven Bradford (D-Gardena), Chair of the California Legislative Black Caucus.

The following key takeaways highlight a few of the bold proposals in the budget that align with the main objectives of the CLBC, which promotes economic security, educational equity, and social justice for African Americans in the state of California:

• Prioritizing support for small businesses, including an expansion of the Main Street Hiring Credit from last year and an additional $1.5 billion for three more rounds of COVID-19 Relief Grant Program awards. We look forward to working with the Governor’s administration to ensure that assistance is distributed in an equitable manner, supporting our minority- and women- owned businesses.

• Expanding access to early care and education by proposing $3.4 billion to provide free transitional kindergarten to all four-year-olds in California. This notable inclusion is in alignment with CLBC priority bill AB 22: Universal Transitional Kindergarten, championed by Assemblymember McCarty (D-Sacramento). We applaud Member McCarty’s unwavering leadership advancing educational equity in early education.

• Expanding statewide access and affordability to high-speed broadband internet service by proposing a $7 billion investment to address the digital divide. Through the leadership of Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson), CLBC support bill AB 1425: CA Advanced Services Fund Broadband Public looks to address access to broadband for all low-income residents in publicly subsidized housing.

• Converting the UCLA Downtown Labor Center into the UCLA James Lawson, Jr. Labor Justice Center. The $15 million dollars to convert the UCLA Labor Center is a step towards the continued promotion of equity and equality for all Californians. We are proud to have supported this effort to honor the life and legacy of Reverend James Lawson, Jr.

The CLBC commends the Governor’s proposals to advance racial and economic equity in the state of California. Yet, there is still much more work to be done. COVID-19 has and continues to shed light on the impact that systemic and institutional racism has on communities of color. As more and more Californians become fully vaccinated and we get closer to the end of the pandemic restrictions, the CLBC will continue to advocate for equitable access and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in our communities. Getting shots in the arms of those who have been disproportionately impacted due to this pandemic is critical to the social and economic vitality of our communities and state.

While budget negotiations continue, the CLBC will push for financial investments that promote the health, economic security, public safety and racial justice for Black Californians. The CLBC request that the legislature and the Governor use the unprecedented revenues we have at our disposal to invest in the foundation of Black achievement and enrichment through the budget request that we have already made in addition to the full funding of AB 118: CRISIS Act, championed by our Vice-Chair Senator Sydney Kamlager.

We look forward to continuing our partnership with Governor Newsom on future actions that further promotes the state's commitment to equity and inclusion.

Category: Business