July 15, 2021 Legislators spent this week finalizing several high-ticket budget items before they break for summer recess today. Governor Newsom released a statement touting his $124 billion education spending package, “an unprecedented level of school and student funding to transform the state’s public schools into gateways of equity and opportunity,” in his words. Plans for the increased funds include converting thousands of school sites into full-service community school centers with expanded learning time and social services, improving staff-to-student ratios at schools with the highest rates of vulnerable students, and the construction and renovation of state preschool, transitional kindergarten, and kindergarten facilities in the state. There will also be an increase in special education funding and universal free school breakfasts and lunches. The budget also now officially includes $5.2 billion for the rental relief program, providing renters with up to 100 percent of back rent and up to three months of forward rent. The state’s renter’s eviction moratorium is set to expire Sept. 30, when the renter will be liable in court for eviction for past due rent. For more information and to learn how to apply, visit housingiskey.com or call (833) 430-2122 (English and Spanish). Also notable is the deal Newsom and lawmakers reached on the statewide broadband effort. AB 156, the trailer bill that reserved the amount in the agreed-upon budget, will provide $3.25 billion for middle-mile infrastructure and building broadband lines, $2 billion for ‘last-mile’ infrastructure lines that will connect homes and business with local networks, $1 billion for rural communities, and $2 billion for urban communities. The Legislature will be on summer recess July 16 through August 16.