Big Budget Wins for San Diego

July 21, 2021

Dear Neighbor:

After months of collaboration with my colleagues in the Senate and the Assembly, I am pleased to tell you that the Governor has signed one of the most transformative and boldest budgets in California’s history.

Ten years ago, I voted for my first state budget. Now, after a decade of responsible budgeting, combined with robust federal stimulus funds and a voter-approved revenue system, we are able to deliver key wins for the residents of California. This budget is one of the most responsible and equitable state budgets in modern history. It includes:

  • Immediate relief for middle-class families -- $600 stimulus checks and an additional $500 for families with children.
  • Supporting small businesses by dedicating $5 billion in grant opportunities and immediate relief.
  • Extending the eviction moratorium through September 30--allowing for both landlords and renters to get back on their feet -- and  covering 100 percent of back rent, an investment of $5.2 billion
  • Infusing billions in of dollars into education, from pre-kindergarten through higher education, including community colleges. The budget provides a record K-12 funding of $21,152 per student.
  • Directing $12 billion, the largest investment in state’s history, to addressing homelessness and housing affordability.
  • An historic $6 billion broadband package to expand our fiber infrastructure, which will benefit generations of Californians - including those right here in San Diego.
  • Allocating $25.2 billion to reserves, including $15.8 billion to our rainy day fund.

What I’m especially happy to share are the major investments I was able to advocate for during budget negotiations that will benefit the San Diego region, with millions of dollars directly flowing into our communities, parks, libraries, small businesses, non-profit organizations, and neighborhoods. Those gains include:

Homeless & Housing

  • Support for local governments’ efforts to address homelessness, including more than $100 million over two years, with the City of San Diego receiving $27.3 million in first year.
  • This is the first multi-year commitment made by the state to our local governments to address this pressing issue in our communities.
  • In addition, there is $1.1 billion allocated statewide to pick up trash and beautify our communities.

Public Safety

  • $1 million to aid the San Diego City Attorney’s office in its groundbreaking Gun Violence Restraining Order Training Program, which removes guns from people who pose a credible threat of violence to themselves or others. California’s Attorney General Rob Bonta has praised the program as a model for the rest of the state.


  • $50 million for the City of San Diego’s Pure Water project, which supports Phase 1 of the City’s multi-year purified water project.
  • $18 million to help create a bold, renewable energy storage solution at the San Vicente Pump Station
  • $30 million for the planning, design, site development and construction for UC San Diego Health’s replacement hospital in Hillcrest.
  • $8.4 million to support the City of San Diego’s capital improvement project at Ocean Beach’s iconic pier.

Climate & Environment

  • UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography will receive $35 million to replace an aging research vessel used by research students to conduct research on the health of our ocean.
  • The City of San Diego will receive $3.1 million for its Chollas Creek Infrastructure Project to treat storm water runoff.
  • Local governments can take advantage of $30 million in grants for sea level rise planning.
  • In early action budget legislation, we passed $536 million wildfire bold package that enables the state to take urgent action to support wildfire suppression, improve forest health, and build resilience in communities.
  • This includes a $12 million grant for the San Diego River Conservancy for on-the-ground wildfire-related investments to reduce fires, smoke, and protect natural landscapes and property. 
  • Investing $10 million in climate and drought research.

Libraries & Education

  • This year, the State is making the largest investment in state history in our libraries, with $439 million in funding to renovate and modernize libraries, statewide.
  • The budget also includes a $2.4 million restoration project for the Logan Heights Community Library.
  • And a $35 million renovation for the San Diego College of Continuing Education’s Educational Cultural Complex.

In addition, we are able to allocate $1.5 million to the City of San Diego for design and construction of a pedestrian bridge in Mission Trails Regional Park. This bridge is a special tribute to the life of local hiker Max Lenail, who died hiking in the park earlier this year. His family has been working with the City to ensure this project came to fruition, and I am happy that we will be able to honor his memory.

The state has also allocated $3 million to the San Diego Symphony’s new Rady Shell at Jacobs Park as well as provided $3.5 million to the Del Mar Fairgrounds/Agriculture District for post-pandemic financial operations support.

This year, the state also has continued to invest funding in two programs I helped create, both of which continue to positively impact our community and state. The budget includes $50 million for the historic tax credit, created by my SB 451 in 2019 to preserve and rehabilitate historic buildings in California. Earlier this spring, we also allocated $8.1 billion, as part of the Golden State Stimulus II, to expand California’s Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC). This program is one of my proudest achievements from my time as Speaker of the Assembly. Since its inception in 2015, CalEITC has helped millions of working families by providing tax relief for those who qualify. With this expansion, it stands to help even more Californians.

The pandemic affected our community and lives in countless ways. Now, as our city, county, and state continue to rebound, I’m excited to see the work we are doing in Sacramento come to life here in our community as we help our neighbors get back to better.

I invite you to read the details of the budget bill here.



Toni Atkins signature
Toni Atkins
Senator, 39th District