Assemblymember Medina Responds to the Governor’s Budget Proposal

Friday, January 8, 2021

SACRAMENTO, CA — Assemblymember Jose Medina (D-Riverside), Chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, released the following statement on Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed 2021-22 State Budget:

“I applaud Governor Newsom for highlighting the impacts of COVID-19 on our students and institutions of higher education. Students across the state have been negatively impacted in and outside of the classroom; the Governor’s budget importantly addresses: learning loss, equity gaps, digital divide, housing and mental health resources. Each of these is a key component of recovery.

However, California needs to do more to address the costs of college, especially in this moment. The Governor’s budget sets aside funds to expand financial aid for students, including increasing the number of Competitive Cal Grant awards and restoring Cal Grant A for those impacted by the pandemic. These investments represent strategic steps in increasing financial assistance for tuition, but the Legislature has a goal of a modernized system that ensures the state can further assist students with not just their tuition costs, but the total cost of earning their college degree.

This past year we not only faced a global emergency, but a sharp call to action against racial injustice. I applaud Governor Newsom’s commitment to addressing this important issue and investing in ethnic studies by highlighting professional development and instructional materials for local educational agencies. This $5 million one-time General Fund support is a vital first step, ensuring that our educators have the proper tools to support implementation of our bill, AB 101, requiring high schools to provide ethnic studies as a graduating course.

I look forward to the year ahead and working with Governor Newsom and legislative colleagues to address the many challenges facing Californians during this pandemic.”

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Press Contact: Cesar Gomez (951) 369-6644