California Senate Leader Darrell Steinberg (D-Sacramento) has made it clear that he is ready, willing, and able to use the state’s embattled high-speed rail as leverage in his fight to win funding for social services and anti-poverty programs, including his very own universal preschool measure.
This after Governor Brown left Steinberg’s plan out of the administration’s proposal, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Steinberg’s announcement comes just one day after Governor Brown revised his budget plan, increasing it by a billion dollars for a record-high $107.8 billion in general fund spending from his initial budget proposal at the beginning of this year. According to the Chronicle, Brown’s budget did not make mention of Steinberg’s and other lawmaker’s proposal to fund the preschool education initiative, which would reportedly cost an estimated $1.5 billion upon implementation in fiscal years 2019-2020.
Steinberg is not backing down, as he said he and his fellow Democrats “have more than lifted to meet the governor’s agenda and his top priority items” and expressed that “it’s time that he do a little lifting as well to help meet our priorities.”
According to the Chronicle, Steinberg says he and his fellow Democrats “will have to see some movement” in their proposal in order for them to consider making the bullet train “a priority again this year…the High Speed Rail thing will be a much tougher sell this time,” Steinberg said.