Bonta Encouraged by Governor Brown’s Budget Proposal

Friday, January 9, 2015

(Sacramento, CA) – Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) issued the following statement after the release of Governor Brown’s 2015/2016 Budget Proposal:

Today Governor Jerry Brown marks his historic fourth term with a forward thinking budget that I am confident will benefit the people of Oakland, Alameda, San Leandro, and the entire State of California.

I was particularly happy that the budget maintains our state’s commitment to bolster K-14 education, representing a 39 percent increase in education funding over four years.

As Chair of the Public Employees, Retirement, and Social Security Committee, I had the privilege last year of working with the Governor on the legislative fix to address the $74 billion CalSTRS funding shortfall and ensure that hardworking teachers receive the retirement security they have been promised. I was encouraged that the Governor highlighted that bill, AB 1469, during his inaugural address and I’m looking forward to engaging with him this year on his challenge to pre-fund retiree health care benefits via the collective bargaining process, which will reduce future costs and further strengthen the fiscal stability of our state. 

As the Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, I applaud the Governor’s call to action to fully implement health care reform through adequate funding, particularly for our Medi-Cal program. I am committed to ensuring that we continue to do what is necessary to support adequate access for patients to providers and quality care in the Medi-Cal program. Unfortunately, many Medi-Cal patients do not have timely access to health care providers as a result of the Medi-Cal reimbursement rates which are among the lowest in the nation.  Just as the Governor wishes to address funding shortfalls in programs like CalSTRS and CalPERS, I believe this is the time to devote more resources to addressing the funding shortfall in Medi-Cal.

I hope the May revision will increase funding to early childhood education.

After many years of working within the confines of a severe deficit, it’s an exciting time to be in the Legislature--- a time of balanced budgets, new investments in education, public safety, and the economy, and a promising future for the Golden State. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to ensure that the budget continues to unfold in a way that will allow us to pass our fifth on-time, balanced budget, a first for our state!