Senator Roth’s Statement on Approved 2017-18 State Budget
Senator Richard D. Roth (D-Riverside) issued the following statement on the 2017-18 state budget approved by the State Legislature:
“The approved state budget makes critical investments in education, healthcare, our veterans and justice system, and continues a fiscally prudent approach. It ensures our region receives its fair share from Sacramento, and I am proud to have worked with my colleagues on both sides, particularly with Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes (D-Corona), to deliver these important victories for our region and all Californians.”
Key Highlights of the 2017-18 Approved State Budget
- CREATING NEW JOBS – By allocating over $413 million for construction of the new California Air Resources Board’s emissions testing facility in Riverside, which will create hundreds of new jobs and improve Inland Southern California’s air quality, the approved budget cements a major victory delivered by Senator Roth last year.
- INVESTING IN EDUCATION – The approved budget deploys $3 million to the Riverside County Office of Education to increase access to online K-12 curriculum for our region’s students, and also ensures the University of California at Riverside does not lose approximately $35 million in funding. It also saves critical CalGrant funding for students who choose to attend private, nonprofit higher education institutions, including those with private nursing programs in our region. The loss of this important piece of financial aid would have had a negative impact on students and their families, and its preservation will help ensure Inland Southern California continues producing students who are prepared to meet our region and state’s growing and complex needs.
- STANDING UP FOR OUR VETERANS – The approved budget preserves funding for the critically important Work for Warriors program, which effectively connects military service members with jobs as they return home from serving our country.
The budget also deploys $2 million to Norco College’s Veterans Resource Center (VRC), which addresses the unique needs of our veterans as they pursue their higher education goals.
The budget also funds the study of Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs) to ensure veterans who are involved with the justice system and whose court cases are affected by such issues as addiction, mental illness and co-occurring disorders receive the support they need while still being held accountable for their actions. Through a collaboration of prosecutors, public defenders, veterans, social services and family support organizations, VTCs promote sobriety, recovery and stability.
- IMPROVING ACCESS TO JUSTICE – The approved budget reallocates a total of four judges to Inland Southern California in order to meet our region’s dire judge shortage, with two judges reallocated to Riverside Superior Court and two to San Bernardino Superior Court. This is an issue Senator Roth has continued to fight for, and this reallocation will help improve access to justice for all Inland Southern Californians.
- IMPROVING ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE – The approved budget protects $100 million in funding over three years to train new primary care physicians in medically underserved areas, helping alleviate a dire shortage in healthcare providers in the areas where they are most needed.
- PROTECTING OUR LOCAL ECONOMY – A critical part of our Inland economy, citrus crops face a significant threat from naturally-occurring pests. The approved budget invests $10 million to battle citrus disease and ensure citrus remains a viable, productive and sustainable component of our region’s economy.
- IMPROVING OUR REGION’S INFRASTRUCTURE – The approved budget also streamlines project agreements for the Riverside County Transportation Commission as they seek to break ground on critical infrastructure improvement projects funded by Senate Bill 132 (2017), which will ease traffic congestion and improve our region’s roads and freeways.