Senator Patricia Bates (R-Laguna Niguel) issued the following statement after legislative Democrats approved the 2019-20 state budget (Assembly Bill 74):
“Despite a budget surplus of $22 billion, the record $215 billion budget framework that the Legislature approved today is contingent on more costly tax increases. For example, imposing a tax on U.S. citizens and legal immigrants who do not have health insurance will make California even more unaffordable.
“At the same time, making undocumented immigrants eligible for taxpayer-funded health benefits is a false promise given that Medi-Cal is struggling to serve existing enrollees. It could also encourage more illegal immigration. Sacramento should instead address Medi-Cal’s long wait times, inadequate access, and low reimbursement rates for health providers.
“The final budget does include some priorities that I support such as investing in our public schools, preparing for wildfires, and building the state’s rainy day fund. I also welcome the fact that the Governor abandoned his water tax increase. But overall, the budget commits the state to spend significantly more money in future years, which will be a huge problem when the next economic downturn occurs.”