Budget To Include Funds For Repairs, Expansion Of State Buildings
California state office buildings will get $1.3 billion in upgrades as part of the state budget deal.
The money will fund an expansion of the state Capitol annex, where lawmakers and the governor have offices, and to replace the vacant Food and Agriculture building and the decrepit Resources Building.
"One of the things that we haven’t done, and really over the last 40 or 50 years is really repair and maintain our crumbling infrastructure, and particularly the buildings where we house our state employees, where we ask people to go to work," says Assembly Budget Chair Phil Ting.
Another budget bill extends a fee on hospitals. In a rarity, it easily received the required two-thirds majority support. The hospitals themselves want the fee, because it brings in federal money.
The other bill that will require a two-thirds vote did not come up. That would fund bonds to build housing for the homeless. Democrats are still trying to drum up enough support from Assembly Republicans to pass it.
California could soon start research about the causes of gun violence, which has largely stopped at the federal level. The newly-passed state budget, which the governor says he’ll sign, includes money to create a center dedicated to the study of firearms violence.
California lawmakers want the UC Davis Medical School to pick up where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) left off two decades ago. That was after Congress slashed the funding the agency was using for research on gun violence. While it’s not technically banned, that CDC research has all but stopped.
The state budget allocates $5 million over five years for a Firearm Violence Research Center to study causes and ways to prevent gun violence. The National Rifle Association opposes the center, saying that research could be biased.