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Source : Pxhere
June 21, 2021
Author : Patty Rodriguez
The state’s draft budget includes $30 million for a new hospital to replace the University of California San Diego’s medical center, which according to an internal seismic safety survey obtained by NBC San Diego poses a “serious risk to life” in the event of an earthquak.
Meanwhile, the “placeholder budget” would also provide $2.4 million to the Logan Heights Library for improvements, and $3.6 million for maintenance at the Old Town State Historic Park, which contains many historic buildings from the city’s early days, dating back to 1820 to 1870.
The bill, which was passed on Monday, is called a “placeholder” because it “allows legislators to continue to be paid while they negotiate with Gov. Gavin Newsom over the differences between their draft and his spending plan,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The state will have to pass a final budget before the new fiscal year, beginning on July 1.
Major changes are not expected, at least according to San Diego Assemblymember Chris Ward (D), since legislators worked off of the governor's budget revision in May. Governor Gavin Newsom’s version, which he dubbed the “California Comeback Plan,” was just a bit bigger than the legislature’s draft bill, totalling $267 billion.
“We’re providing for direct relief for families and small businesses,” Ward said, adding that they are “making investments in areas we know have been underfunded, like public education, expansion of healthcare, childcare, transportation investments, climate resilience, wildlife and drought protection.”
Funding would also go to studies of racial disparities in healthcare with chronic health problems being more prevalent in low-income and minority communities; a phenomenon even more acute during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I’m especially pleased to see the inclusion of proposed funding to initiate the Annual Health Disparities Report, which will include an analysis of data related to the social determinants of health,” San Diego Assemblymember Akilah Weber (D), said.
The bill would also give $50 million in grants to small venues and performance art centers so that such businesses with annual revenues under $2 million would be eligible for grants of up to $75,000.
There’s also $7 billion proposed for broadband expansion to help get high speed internet to rural and tribal communities.