Independence Day is traditionally a time to go to the beach, have backyard barbecues and close out the day watching fireworks. But this year, the celebrations won’t be as wide-spread, the beaches will be much less crowded. The limited July 4th activities may be appropriate since it provides an opportunity to pause and reflect on what the day is really about.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, state revenues began to plummet, while spending on unemployment insurance and social programs increased exponentially. The result -- our $21 billion surplus suddenly transformed into a $54.3 billion deficit. 
One of my passions in public service is encouraging young women to fulfill their life’s potential by taking full advantage of available educational opportunities. As Minority Leader and a member of the Legislative Women’s Caucus, I am happy to spread the word about the Minerva Scholarship program, established by the Women in California Leadership Foundation to educate, support and empower young women and girls.
Last March our economy slammed on the brakes and thousands were thrown out of work. Millions filed for Unemployment Insurance (UI).
Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron of Escondido said it was “inconceivable” that the state would raise costs on Californians at this time. “Unemployment continues to rise and all the ways California was unaffordable prior to the pandemic still exist — suspending the gas tax increase is the least that could be done,” Waldron said.
In March the Legislature recessed due to the COVID-19 emergency. This recess was unprecedented in our history and underscored a critical problem. While California lawmakers continued to work from their districts, they cannot vote on legislation when they are unable to meet in Sacramento.
This week the California Assembly convened a historic meeting; one that has not happened in 25 years.  Called the “Committee of the Whole,” it is when the entire Assembly comes together to serve as an 80-member budget committee to address this deficit budget cycle.
It’s graduation time and unfortunately the events that our college and high school students, 8th graders, kindergarteners and many others have been eagerly working toward all year have been significantly impacted by the  COVID-19 pandemic, and that includes canceling traditional graduations and grad nights, school dances and other large gatherings.  These events and ceremonies are the focal point of the school year and of a student’s academic career. 
Governor Newsom's May Revise budget projection for the coming Fiscal Year shows that the $21 billion surplus we had has become a $54 billion deficit in our state budget!
Assembly Republican Leader Marie Waldron issued the following response to Gov. Gavin Newsom's revised budget proposal:    "The best way to fix this budget crisis is by helping people get back to work safely. If we can get employees back to work safely, receive some help from the federal government and make government more efficient to withstand future downturns, we will be able to protect jobs and public health and put California back on a path to prosperity that works for everyone."