The governor’s new budget makes clear that he isn’t willing to spend more money from the state’s general fund on affordable housing.

Gov. Jerry Brown didn’t propose any new funding for low-income housing and made clear he wouldn’t support proposed legislation that would increase spending. Even the $400 million Brown had agreed to spend last year if lawmakers signed off on his plan to streamline local development was taken off the table.

Sacramento Report logoHe reiterated his stance from last year that obstacles created locally – such as community opposition, delays in permit approvals, impact fees and parking requirements – are driving up the cost of building homes. He urged a continued push for legislation that would eliminate discretionary local reviews for housing developments that comply with local rules.

San Diego legislators Sen. Toni Atkins and Assemblyman Todd Gloria responded to the governor’s budget with disappointment on the housing front.

“I am concerned that the spending plan does not sufficiently address California’s housing affordability crisis,” said Gloria in a statement. “The elimination of the $400 million set-aside for affordable housing approved last year is a step backwards and I will work with my colleagues in the Legislature to make housing affordability a priority again.”

Atkins used the budget proposal to underscore the importance of her own housing bill, SB 2, which would, in part, create a new stream of funding for the construction of low-income housing by charging a $75 fee on real estate recording documents.

We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?

“We must respond to the severe housing crisis facing us – our families and our economy depend on it,” Atkins said in a statement.

Stephen Russell, the executive director the San Diego Housing Federation, said the governor’s attitude isn’t surprising.

“Our strategy needs to be looking at the places where we can have success because we’re not going to get a lot this year,” Russell said.

Atkins’ bill could be promising, since it would create a new stream of funding, rather than pull from the state’s general fund. A similar bill she proposed last year didn’t garner enough votes to pass, but a new Democratic supermajority may help it this session, said Russell.

But other bills, such as one from Assemblymen Miguel Santiago and David Chiu, which would allocate some money from the general fund to the state attorney general to more strictly enforce state housing laws, might be a tougher sell.

Maya Srikrishnan

More Budget Reactions

Though Republicans continually seem grudgingly impressed by Brown’s fiscal prudence, they still found plenty to be unimpressed with in his latest budget. Many zeroed in on transportation needs, and the shadow of uncertainty at the federal level.

“Given national economic conditions and pending policy changes in Washington, D.C., it’s prudent that the budget has embraced a relatively cautious approach. The state must be extra vigilant in its spending and California would be better served if our state’s leadership seeks cooperation instead of confrontation with the new federal administration.

“On transportation, I agree with the need to fix our aging roads, but I am troubled that the governor still wants drivers to pay massively higher gas taxes. The state can fix our roads by diverting money from an unnecessary high-speed train, eliminating inefficiencies at Caltrans and using designated transportation dollars for their original purpose.”
Sen. Pat Bates

“It’s clear that Governor Brown is concerned about declining tax revenue and the potential for a recession in the near future, and I appreciate his cautious approach. His willingness to hold spending essentially flat despite pressure to do otherwise is commendable. … This budget neglects to address our significant transportation and water infrastructure needs, pays down far too little debt and does not do enough to strengthen our state’s rainy day fund.”

Assemblyman Randy Voepel

“If the Affordable Care Act is changed in any significant way, we will have a fiscal issue here in California. With the governor already projecting a $1.6 billion deficit and the possibility of losing more in terms of federal funding, California could see quite the shortfall.”

“With much uncertainty coming from the federal government and its positions on the ACA, immigration and climate policies, there is still much to be gleaned and discussed in the coming months.”

Assemblyman Rocky Chavez


Meanwhile, the ACLU of California identified two big priorities in its reaction to Brown’s budget, and one of them is San Diego Sen. Ben Hueso’s bill that would create a program to provide all immigrants with legal services during deportation proceedings.

“We commend Governor Brown for his bold move on driver’s license suspensions, and urge him and the legislature to be equally bold in fortifying their commitment to fairness and due process with robust funding for the Due Process for All Act (D-Hueso) and the Stronger Public Defenders Act (D-Bonta),” said Natasha Minsker, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of California’s Center for Advocacy and Policy.

Weber on Becerra and California

Sara’s recipe for romance: Find someone who talks as lovingly about you as Assemblywoman Shirley Weber talks about the state of California.

Weber was a member of the Assembly Special Committee on the Office of the Attorney General, and voted this week to recommend the full Assembly approve Rep. Xavier Becerra as California’s next attorney general. (Disclosure: My husband works for the California Department of Justice.)

During the hearing, she told Becerra:

“Some 65 years ago, my father fled Hope, Ark., in fear for his life because of the racism in Arkansas at that time. And that has always been an impact on our life in terms of coming to California, and seeing California as truly the Golden State of Opportunity.”

Weber also noted the contrast between Becerra’s hearing and Sen. Jeff Sessions’ hearing to become the U.S. attorney general.

Golden State News

 Gov. Jerry Brown’s State of the State address will take place on Jan. 24.

 Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom knows CEQA has held up countless projects in California and thinks it could hold up one more: President-elect Trump’s border wall. (Golden State Podcast)

 Meet Rob Pyers, the unlikely elections data guru. (L.A. Times)

  One California legislator is targeting fake news with a new civic education bill.

 Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon has some major staffing changes in the works. (Politico)

 A hot new legal frontier: trademarks for pot. (CalMatters)

 President Obama has named a large California coastal expanse a national monument, adding to the existing California Coastal National Monument. (Mercury News)

    This article relates to: Government, Must Reads, Sacramento Report, State Government

    Written by Sara Libby

    Sara Libby is VOSD’s managing editor. She oversees VOSD’s newsroom and its content. You can reach her at or 619.325.0526.

    Founder subscriber

    The State wants wealthy people (not poor people) to relocate to CA so that the property taxes they will pay will be much higher than what CA residents are now paying because of Prop. 13. Most elected Leaders talk about "Affordable Housing" because they get big donations from Developers to build ever more Density which directly relates to much higher profits per development for them!

    Want more housing for Low and Low-Moderate income families, mandate that it must be built as a meaningful percentage of every new Development (over 3 units) and then require that these Unistrut its be rent restricted for 30+ years, then CA will build itself out of the current "lack" of units that are really affordable.

    Of course this will never happen because Developers would never allow those Codes to become law since it would directly affect their bottom line.

    The wealthy now rule CA and things will only get worse as our elected Leaders continue to do what is best for the 1% (Big Money) instead of the majority of the rest of us living in CA!

    Prediction: CA Property values will skyrocket, as all those that are now feeling threatened by the social & political changes now occurring in their own States, decide to relocate to laid back CA in order to escape the discrimination that is now becoming commonplace in so many places in the USA. Yet another group that is also very interested in owning SD property are all those living overseas that know how valuable SD's clean air and great weather are!

    Fred Schnaubelt
    Fred Schnaubelt subscriber

    Affordable housing in San Diego and California and the politicians are laughable.  They first create a housing crisis by denying permits for thousands of homes over the last decade and then purport to solve "their" crisis with millions of taxpayer dollars.  What a joke they are.

    Mark Giffin
    Mark Giffin subscribermember

    @Fred Schnaubelt 

    It is classic though. Help Create a problem and then act like a hero coming in to solve it.

    Michael Livingston
    Michael Livingston

    ""(Brown) reiterated his stance from last year that obstacles created locally – such as community opposition, delays in permit approvals, impact fees and parking requirements – are driving up the cost of building homes. He urged a continued push for legislation that would eliminate discretionary local reviews for housing developments that comply with local rules.""

    The State already meddles too much in local housing affairs. Constant changes to building codes, ever stricter energy requirements, fair share allocations etc. Now they want to gut local regulations? Review your own impacts on housing and you will find waste fraud and abuse! Deal with those issues before wagging your finger at localities.

    There are too many people in Calif already. Slow growth is fine with me.

    Mark Giffin
    Mark Giffin subscribermember

    Its unbelievable how our "leaders" just keep ignoring the elephant in the room. 

    Have Sen.Toni Atkins and Assemblyman Todd Gloria ever balanced a checkbook?

    There is no extra monies except through debt as the pension tsunami is coming on shore. Not only in San Diego but throughout the state. We are beginning to look like Illinois more and more

    The economy is expected (projected) to be flat.

    and here is the coming result's-state.html