On Monday, June 22nd, Governor Newsom, Senate President Pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon announced an agreement on the 2020-21 State Budget. The final version of the budget maintains many provisions from the version proposed by the Legislature but amends certain triggers. The Governor’s initial budget included a “trigger down” approach (including funding in the budget that would be reduced only if additional federal funds were not received by September 1, 2020). Instead, the agreed upon budget will utilize a “trigger up” approach (only providing funding or augmenting programs if additional federal funds are received by October 15, 2020).
Because the 2019-2020 budget had a surplus of General Fund money, the January budget allocated an additional $250 million to the mixed income housing program and infill infrastructure grant program. However, because the 2020-21 budget is facing a dramatic deficit, this additional money will no longer support these housing programs unless California receives federal funding to help cover this cost. Many of the additional housing programs that were originally proposed to receive funds in the January budget were protected from significant cuts, so this is great news, and we thank Governor Newsom for ensuring these funds were protected. However, with the limited amount of money in the Budget this year, it is extremely important that the Legislature continue to pass good housing policies that will reduce the cost of production.