Last week Governor Brown signed a $171 billion California budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1 and the legislature adjourned for summer recess. The budget included major wins for the Chamber’s cradle-to-career education priorities to prepare California’s 21st century workforce. They included:

The new state budget also begins to address the state housing crisis, with $400 million to subsidize low-income housing. However, these dollars are tied to the Legislature’s support for Gov. Brown’s trailer bill language, which will streamline and make it easier to build housing. TheChamber strongly supports that language, which will be up for approval in August. In addition, Senate pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Assembly Minority Leader Chad Mayes announced an agreement on No Place like Home legislation that would provide $2 billion from funding that already exists for the housing and treatment of mentally-ill, homeless Californians.

An obvious void in this budget is a funding plan for our crumbling roads and transportation infrastructure. It has been over a year since Gov. Brown called a special legislative session on transportation, and little to no progress has been made.

The Chamber is part of the Fix Our Roads coalition, which recently unveiled the Roadmap to Consensus, a proposal which combines what we believe are the best ideas from Gov. Brown’s proposal, Republican reform proposals and legislation introduced by Senator Jim Beall and Assembly Member Jim Frazier. Transportation infrastructure should not be a partisan issue. Every Californian feels the impacts of our deficient infrastructure in one way or another – whether it’s the frustration of sitting in traffic to and from work every day, its impact on the environment, the “hidden tax” that each driver pays in additional car maintenance costs or the higher costs Californians pay for goods and services. This is not an issue that can wait any longer.

During the July recess, members of the Legislature will be back in their districts. When you see them, please thank them for the work they have done thus far and let them know that our state transportation system needs both attention and money when they return in August.