Laurie’s Latest: Addressing Unmet Needs in State Budget

As your assemblymember, I am committed to being a problem solver, which is why I proudly joined the Problem Solver’s Caucus in Sacramento.

This bipartisan group of legislators shares a common goal of finding practical and effective solutions to address the challenges in our state. While reviewing the new state budget unveiled by Gov. Newsom last month, it is evident that there is room for improvement in accelerating housing construction, wildfire prevention, and protecting our beaches.

There was a lack of foresight in creating real incentives to speed up housing construction in California. This omission is particularly concerning, as homeownership becomes increasingly unattainable for Californians, especially young people, seniors and working families.

While there is much more to be done, I look forward to working with other leaders in our community to solve this issue.

The lack of streamlining for wildfire prevention projects is a matter of concern, especially for our communities in the 74th Assembly District. However, I take pride in having secured funding for the Orange County Fire Authority, to purchase equipment to combat wildfires.

Nevertheless, there is still more work to be done, and I believe we can make significant progress in addressing these challenges effectively.

The disregard for coastal and sand erosion programs is another letdown. Our beaches are vital for recreation, sea life, the environment, and our economy. With the creation of the bipartisan Coastal Caucus, I am working with my colleagues to spread the word on this critical issue that expands far beyond just coastal Southern California.

I am pleased to see that both of my bills that tackle this issue have progressed in the State Senate, and I expect them to become law.

I am pleased with two key budget items relating to education.

There is funding that will go toward ensuring every school can purchase Narcan, ensuring the safety of our students amidst the ongoing battle against the fentanyl crisis.

Additionally, there is funding to ensure reciprocity for teachers who are spouses of servicemembers stationed in California. This measure not only addresses our teacher shortage, but also supports military families. It’s a win-win situation for all.

In local efforts, I recently wrote a letter to the California State Lands Commission in support of the San Clemente Sand Replenishment project, a partnership agreement between the City of San Clemente and the Army Corps of Engineers.

This project aims to place 250,000 cubic yards of sand on city beaches. While we continue working on long-term solutions to combat coastal erosion, the immediate commencement of sand replenishment is a vital first step.

Also relating to coastal erosion, I recently wrote a letter supporting the Orange County Transportation Authority in their efforts to improve the rail infrastructure in south coastal Orange County.

A pragmatic and fact-based approach is critical in protecting and enhancing our rail corridor. Through a comprehensive study and collaboration with stakeholders, we can develop innovative solutions to address environmental impacts, prioritize safety, and foster regional connectivity.

While I also submitted a letter in support of a long-term study looking at possible future movement of the tracks, this new effort will ensure we look at steps to take in the short- and medium-term while addressing concerns of all stakeholders.

Please be sure to keep an eye out for announcements related to my Community Coffees that I will be hosting in the upcoming weeks. I look forward to the opportunity to hear directly from you on issues that matter.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve. I am honored to represent you in the State Assembly.

Laurie Davies is a small business owner and former mayor who was elected to the State Assembly in 2020 and reelected in 2022. She represents the 74th Assembly District, which includes Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano in South Orange County—down through Camp Pendleton, and Oceanside, Vista and part of Fallbrook in North San Diego County.