Gray Applauds Passage of State Budget with Funding to Combat Homelessness in Merced and Stanislaus County

June 15, 2017 - Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D-Merced) praised the passage of the 2017-18 California State Budget and highlighted a number of local investments vital to the success of working families in the San Joaquin Valley including $5 million in dedicated funding to Merced and Stanislaus County to combat homelessness.
Balanced and On-Time
“The days of delayed and deficit-ridden budgets continue to be behind us. Today I am proud to support a budget which is on-time, balanced, and invests in many of the priorities of the San Joaquin Valley.”
Allocates $5 million to Combat Homelessness
“The budget contains $2.5 million each for Merced and Stanislaus County to address the problem of homelessness in the 21st District. This funding will expedite local planning and boost local resources to put a roof over the heads of this vulnerable population. I look forward to working with local leaders to identify solutions and ways to use this funding as an opportunity to leverage public and private funding to make these dollars go even further. This is a historic investment in our community and will have lasting implications for years to come.”
Fully Funds FFA
“After early versions of the budget placed funding for career tech and FFA on the chopping block, a chorus of blue jackets from throughout the state descended upon the Capitol to remind lawmakers of the importance of these vital programs. FFA, and other career technical education courses like it, are some of the very few remaining opportunities for young adults to leave school workforce ready. It is time Sacramento stop trying to cut the very programs that most benefit the workforce of rural California and the San Joaquin Valley.”
Expands the Earned Income Tax Credit
“The expansion of the earned income tax credit to the self-employed and those with incomes up to $22,000 is a major victory for disadvantaged communities throughout California. In Merced and Stanislaus County we expect a boost of nearly 25% in eligible filers. This is not a handout. This is a tax credit that targets the most in need and rewards hardworking families by letting them keep more of the money they earned in the first place.”
Boosts Medi-Cal Reimbursements and Healthcare Workforce Training
“California has cut the number of people without health insurance in half since the Affordable Care Act went into effect, but emergency rooms in the San Joaquin Valley continue to be overcrowded. Without an adequate number of doctors and nurses serving the community, a health insurance card offers a false promise. The budget devotes over $500 million to boost Medi-Cal reimbursements rewarding doctors who see high rates of Medi-Cal patients.
The budget also safeguards a $100 million investment in the Song-Brown program we fought for last year to support and expand residency programs in health professional shortage areas. We know that health professionals tend to practice where they are trained. By expanding residency slots, we can train more doctors in the communities that need them most.
Finally, the budget fully restores the cuts made to dental benefits made during the Great Recession and puts us on track to restore optical benefits as well. We have waited far too long to restore these vital services. I am happy to report the wait is over.”
Supports Voluntary Bay-Delta Plan Settlements
“With the threat of the State Water Board’s plan to create a permanent regulatory drought throughout our community looming, the budget largely kicks the can down the road. If adopted in its current form, the board’s plan will devastate our agricultural economy and cause a ripple effect throughout the region. I am happy to see $1.1 million in the budget to support voluntary settlement negotiations currently taking place between the state and local water users. Voluntary agreements provide the only path forward that avoids decades of litigation.”
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