A state budget approved Monday by the California Legislators will among other things bring $20 million to the town of Pajaro to help residents recover from the flooding that inundated the area in March.
The funds are available to all residents, regardless of immigration status.
The budget includes a handful of bills, including Assembly Bill 102, authored by Phil Ting, which brought the money to Pajaro.
Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo called the funds a “huge victory” for the small community.
“This wouldn’t be possible without the leadership of our state legislators, the Governor, the County of Monterey and community advocacy groups who pushed to get this significant funding inserted into the budget,” Alejo said. “The assistance will help the people of Pajaro continue to recover and get through this period of great difficulty for the community.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom, who was expected to sign the bill when it landed on his desk late Wednesday, made the announcement in a joint press conference with Senate President Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.
“In the face of continued global economic uncertainty, this budget increases our fiscal discipline by growing our budget reserves to a record $38 billion, while preserving historic investments in public education, health care, climate, and public safety,” Newsom said.
Atkins said that the budget allows the state to close its budget gap while providing services and resources for Californians and avoiding cuts to core programs and dipping into reserves.
“In good years, we buckled down so that in tough years like this one, we could meet our needs,” Atkins said. “That pragmatic approach works for household budgeting, and it works for state budgeting. I’m also heartened that we were able to reach agreement on the infrastructure package, and in particular that we were able to do so in a way that focuses on equity by laying the groundwork to ensure that our most vulnerable communities will be hired first on impactful state infrastructure projects.”
Monterey County spokesman Nick Pasculli said the money comes thanks to the work and lobbying efforts of staff and elected officials in Monterey County.
“I think the fact that the budget was successfully passed with a $20 million allocation to Pajaro is demonstrative of the county’s commitment to the people of Pajaro and advocating on their behalf,” he said.
The Pajaro Recovery Taskforce—established in the wake of the flooding—will now determine how to spend the money, said Department of Emergency Management Director Kelsey Scanlon.