Gray Applauds Passage of State Budget with Local Investments in Jobs and Homelessness

Thursday, June 14, 2018

For Immediate Release: June 14, 2018
Contact: Adam Capper
Phone: (916) 319-2021

Gray Applauds Passage of State Budget with Local Investments in Jobs and Homelessness

(Sacramento) – Assemblymember Adam C. Gray (D-Merced) praised the passage of the 2018-19 California State Budget and highlighted a number of local investments vital to the success of working families in the San Joaquin Valley.

“The budget is a product of compromise,” said Gray. “It gets a lot right but some wrong. We have expanded tax credits to reward low-income families for hard work, made good on the promise to fully fund our schools and universities, directed billions into our transportation infrastructure, and made investments to improve the quality of life in the northern San Joaquin Valley. Still, the budget fails to address California’s dire need for additional water storage, makes only modest improvements to health care delivery in rural California, and fails to make law enforcement a funding priority. There are a number of challenges facing California that we must address. On the whole, this budget is a good start.”

Fiscally Responsible Reserves

“After a record period of expansion, our boom and bust economy seems inevitably headed towards a bust,” said Gray. “Even a minor recession could slash $20 billion from our state budget and force painful cuts to important social programs, law enforcement, and education. By putting reserves into a savings account during these good times we give ourselves some breathing room to weather the storm we know is coming.”


“The budget contains a total of $13.5 million for Merced and Stanislaus counties to address homelessness,” said Gray. “These funds will help house folks who are currently living on our streets and provide services to get them back on their feet for good. Local leaders are already putting last year’s investments to good use, and I look forward to continuing to work with our cities and counties to make a lasting impact.”

Automotive Testing Center at Castle

“Known as the California AutoTech Testing and Development Center, the budget includes $6.5 million to support the creation of a high tech automotive testing facility at Castle Commerce Center,” said Gray. “Along with private and local investments, this $20 million project will bring the Silicon Valley and automotive worlds together in Atwater to test and develop the next generation of vehicle technologies. Not only will this project bring immediate job creation to the region, it will further the ‘Valley to Valley’ concept of fostering Silicon Valley investments in the San Joaquin Valley.

The facility will include a range of testing environments, including urban grid, high-speed, asymmetrical intersections, and off-paved roadway testing. Partners include UC Berkeley, UC Merced, Stanford, USC, Carnegie-Mellon, and a number of international and domestic manufacturers as well as technology companies specializing in optical and sensor systems, computational processing, artificial intelligence, and software development.”

VOLT Institute

“In partnership with a number of public and private partners, the budget includes $1 million for the VOLT Institute in Modesto to provide highly skilled manufacturing job training to give students the skills to work at places like Gallo Winery, Del Monte Foods, and Crystal Creamery,” said Gray. “We have a significant shortage of workers with the real skills necessary to get these good-paying jobs. VOLT will be able to use this state money pull down $2 million from federal grants to train an additional 200 students annually by expanding its certified industrial maintenance program and the industrial electronics, manufacturing, and machine program.”

Camp Taylor

“The budget includes $2 million to support the renovation of Camp Taylor in Stanislaus County,” said Gray. “Congenital heart defects are the number one birth defect across the nation, yet this population is incredibly underserved. Camp Taylor offers affected kids one of the only safe environments in the state to meet other children fighting similar health challenges. Under the supervision of an all-volunteer team of medical professionals and staff, Modesto will soon be home to this new state-of-the-art facility – the only one like it in the state.

Stanislaus County has partnered with Camp Taylor to identify the property, and many local corporations, hospitals, farmers, and foundations are on-board to provide donations, grants, and in-kind work. Now with this direct state investment, we can make this incredible place a reality.”