I want to thank the Legislature for all their work this session – our legislative leaders Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon – and all the chairs, members and staff.
Working together in partnership, we have accomplished so much over these last 9 months to help California families tackle the challenges of affordability and fortify our state's future.
Just this week, California passed the strongest package of renter protections in the nation – putting a cap on rent increases, creating protections against evictions, and establishing a legal fund to help Californians fight evictions and foreclosures.
California, faced with catastrophic wildfires fueled by climate change, invested $1 billion to prevent, mitigate and recover from wildfires, disasters and emergencies. And in July, our state enacted something that few people thought could be done – wildfire legislation that moved California closer to a safe, reliable and affordable energy future.
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While the Trump Administration tried to destroy health care, California fortified the Affordable Care Act, took on rising prescription drug prices, expanded subsidies for the middle class, and brought our state one step closer to truly universal coverage.
In the face of the housing and cost-of-living crisis, California acted decisively and strengthened penalties when local governments shirk their responsibility on housing. We unleashed a historic $1.75 billion in new housing construction funding and $1 billion to fight homelessness. This year, our state created a number of new tools to help combat the crisis and incentivize production.
Through the budget, we put $1 billion back in the pockets of working families through an expanded tax credit. Making good on a commitment years in the making, California created a permanent fund to help more than one million Californians who lack access to clean drinking water.
On education, we invested more money in our K-14 system than any other time in our state's history. For the first time in decades, California now offers two years of tuition-free community college for students. And most notably, our state brought charter schools and public teachers together at the negotiating table and found agreement – not just on transparency but new rules around charter schools.
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For the first time in over a century, community activists and law enforcement came to agreement on historic new use of force standards – creating one of the strongest sets of provisions in the nation.
And California did all of this while living within our means: creating the largest rainy day fund in California history, paying down pension liabilities and eliminating our state's wall of debt.
There's still much work to be done to address the challenges families face – from continuing to tackle the cost-of-living crisis in this state to creating new paths for workers to collectively bargain to passing a wildfire resiliency bond. I look forward to continuing this work with the Legislature as we close out the year and start anew.
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