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    Here’s what Orange County will receive from California’s budget
    • July 5, 2023

    Gov. Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature last week reached a deal on the state budget, just in time for the start of the new fiscal year.

    The $310.8 billion plan covers a nearly $32 billion budget deficit by cutting some spending — about $8 billion — and delaying others, including a $750 million payment to the federal government for pandemic-related unemployment insurance debts.

    Statewide, the budget includes a lifeline for public transit agencies struggling to survive following steep declines in riders during the pandemic and allows transit agencies to use some of the $5.1 billion in funding over the next three years for operations.

    But Republican leaders have criticized the plan as unsustainable, arguing it would leave the state with projected multi-billion dollar deficits over the next few years.

    As part of the state budget process, Orange County legislators secured millions for various district projects ranging from public safety technology to transportation services.

    Here are some ways Orange County residents could see an impact through the budget.


    Several million dollars will go toward Orange County museums.

    A total of $250,000 is set for the expansion and improvement of the Orange County Museum of Art’s educational public programs, as requested by Sen. Dave Min, D-Irvine.

    And $4.5 million will be given to the Fullerton Museum Center, money that will “allow the museum to make capital improvements to its facilities, to include renovations to its classroom spaces, exhibition area, auditorium, conference room and outdoor patio, according to Sen. Josh Newman’s office. The funding will also be used to “increase accessibility and accommodate performances, community activities and fundraising events” as well as hire more permanent and part-time staff.

    Additionally, $2 million is set for the Pacific Symphony, the resident orchestra of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall located in Costa Mesa, east of South Coast Plaza. The funding will go toward the expansion of the Symphony’s education and community enrichment programs, including elementary school education and veterans’ initiatives.


    Over $500,000 is set to go to the nonprofit Age Well for transportation for seniors in Orange County. With the funding, Age Well’s senior services transportation project will procure six additional hybrid, specialized vehicles to provide non-emergency transportation services throughout Sen. Catherine Blakespear’s district, which includes the cities of Laguna Hills, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita and San Juan Capistrano.

    Huntington Beach will be given $1.45 million for its Ride Circuit Shuttle Program to “improve micro-mobility, reduce car traffic and provide low-cost, on-demand transit to residents and visitors on (an) all-electric shuttle,” according to Min’s office. A portion of the funding will be allocated to the Navigation Center, a 174-bed shelter and social services center for individuals struggling with housing insecurity.

    Public safety

    With the help of the $2 million in funding requested by Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris, Irvine will establish a Real Time Crime Center that “embeds crime analysts in the Irvine Police Department communications and dispatch center.” The funds, according to Petrie-Norris’ office, would go toward equipping the RTCC with new software, hardware and the expansion of the existing dispatch center to include the RTCC analysts’ consoles.

    Min also requested $990,000 in funding for RTCC to go toward new dispatch equipment. Current patrol vehicles will be replaced with electric vehicles, and the Criminal Investigation Division Unit will receive additional safety equipment.


    Lestonnac Free Clinic of Orange County, a public health clinic that provides free, critical health care services to low-income and uninsured residents throughout Southern California, will receive $3 million in funding jointly secured by Newman and Sen. Janet Nguyen, R-Huntington Beach.

    With the funds, the clinic will be able to improve building infrastructure to “expand the number of patients it serves,” according to Newman’s office, and to “purchase a mobile RV unit to grow its street medicine program.”

    The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

    ​ Orange County Register