SACRAMENTO, CA — Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur (D-Hollywood) released the following statement on the 2023-2024 California State Budget. Amidst a challenging economic landscape, Assemblymember Zbur lauded the collective efforts of the Assembly, Senate, and Governor in making robust investments in critical areas that align with the assemblymember's priorities to address housing and homelessness, climate change, and civil rights and social justice.
"While facing a $32 billion deficit, in part due to record-high inflation, I am proud that the Assembly, Senate, and Governor have been able to work together to make strong investments in housing and homelessness, education, health care, climate, public safety, and our social safety net, while also maintaining a $38 billion reserve for possible future budget challenges," said Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur.
Zbur also emphasized the budget's commitment to tackling the homeless crisis by allocating $3 billion in funding to provide resources toward housing and homelessness initiatives. These include funding for the Multifamily Housing Program, the Infill Infrastructure Grant Program, CalHome, accessory dwelling units, and the State Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.
Furthermore, Zbur highlighted the budget's renewed focus on combating climate change and protecting the environment. Around $50 billion is going to various climate, environmental, and resource programs over a multi-year period. This funding includes the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and a new grant program to fund zero-emissions school buses.
"Climate change remains one of the most pressing challenges facing our state and the world. While this year's budget investment in climate change is lower than last year's record allocation, I remain hopeful that the state will continue its leadership in the climate arena through the passage of SB 867, a $15.5 billion climate resiliency bond that would underscore our determination to reduce our reliance on dirty fossil fuels and safeguard our environment for future generations."
While also strongly backing the ongoing strike by actors, writers and production staff, Zbur expressed staunch support by fighting for the California Film Tax Credit, which has been successfully extended for five years.
"I fought diligently to extend the California Film Tax Credit, recognizing its paramount importance to maintaining high-skilled, high-wage entertainment industry jobs in Southern California. By supporting this tax credit, we ensure that California remains a competitive and thriving hub for the film and entertainment sector. That being said, I strongly support the demands for better wages and working conditions in the entertainment industry and urge the parties negotiating in the labor disputes to reach a speedy and fair resolution so that the tax credit benefits can improve the lives of California families."
In addition to his endorsement of funding for housing, climate change, and the film industry, Zbur extended his support for initiatives to counter hate crimes and ensure the safety of vulnerable communities. This includes AB 1185, the California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program, which is designed to improve the physical security of nonprofit organizations, particularly vulnerable to hate violence, like churches, synagogues, temples, schools, clinics, community centers, and similar locations.
"We've seen a deeply distressing increase in hate crimes of all types in Los Angeles County, and the antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ+ violence and targeting is increasing at an alarming rate. nearly all racial and ethnic groups, sexual minorities, and religions. According to the Anti-Defamation League, California saw a 36 percent increase in antisemitic hate crimes, many also happening in the greater Los Angeles area. This is why funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant is crucial to protecting synagogues and temples, LGBTQ+ community spaces, abortion clinics, and other organizations commonly targeted by extremism and hate.
Set forth below are some of the key investments made through the recently adopted budget including investments in District 51, which Assemblymember Zbur actively supported.
- $3 billion for housing and homelessness projects
- Protects record per-pupil funding levels for schools
- $2.8 billion to increase childcare provider rates
- Extends the California Film & Television Tax Credit, keeping film industry jobs in California
- Lowers costs for Covered California health plans
- Boosts Medi-Cal provider rates, helping to increase access to care
- Funding for more slots for Californians at the University of California & Cal State Universities
- Protects key investments in coastal and community resilience, dam safety, and sustainable agriculture
- $5.1 billion to support statewide public transit systems over several years.
- $20 million for the California State Nonprofit Security Grant Program
District 51 Investments:
- $2 million for the Center for Reproductive Health, Law and Policy at UCLA Law School
- $5 million for the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African-American Studies at UCLA
- $1.15 million in funding to Restore the West Hollywood Log Cabin Recovery Center
- $500,000 for a new building and program expansion for Project Angel Food
- $1 million for Equality California Institute’s Safe Schools Project
- $500,000 for the Santa Monica College Library
- $200,000 for the Holocaust Museum of Los Angeles Dimensions in Testimony exhibit
- $500,000 for Hollywood Public Restrooms and Visitor Information
Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur serves as the Democratic Caucus Chair for the California State Assembly and represents the 51st Assembly District, including Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Westwood, Santa Monica, and portions of Los Angeles.
CONTACT: Vienna Montague, (916) 319-2051, Vienna.Montague@asm.ca.gov