Budget Trailer Bills

The main state budget bill passed prior to the June 15th constitutional deadline, and the Governor will have until June 30th to sign it into law (and use his line item veto pen). But many trailer bills that fund specific state programs were still being voted on last week.

Trailers that passed last week included a bill that will establish a permanent foster care provider rate structure based on the needs of the child. Rates will follow the child, not the placement location. Legislation involving Developmental Services for the disabled will increase opportunities for regional center consumers to receive support and nonmedical therapies such as camping and social recreation in settings typically available for persons without disabilities. And a trailer bill that will enhance early learning and childcare by streamlining the application process was also approved.

The homelessness crisis was also addressed. Legislation included reforms that will strengthen state and local collaboration by creating metrics that enhance oversight on state spending to help ensure that taxpayer dollars are actually reducing homelessness. On the public safety front, to improve public court access and efficiency, the sunset date allowing remote court hearings will be extended to January 1, 2027. Another public safety-related bill allows electronic transmittal of records in capital cases to the Governor, instead of the current, antiquated requirement that a physical copy (often hundreds of pages), be delivered by registered mail.

The higher education trailer bill attempts to reduce the statewide nursing shortage by allowing students to receive an AA degree in nursing from community colleges. The legislation also cuts bureaucracy by dissolving the California Student Aid Commission’s auxiliary, which has become obsolete.

As always, I support statewide spending policies that prioritize public safety and public health, and that don’t penalize hard-working Californians with higher taxes and fees.