Padilla Secures California Investments, Provisions to Strengthen Workplace Safety and Mental Health Care in Bipartisan Funding Package

FY 24 Appropriations Package Passes Senate with Over $30 Million for 27 Community Projects Across California

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) announced that he secured over $30 million for 27 community projects across California in the second and final FY 2024 appropriations package, which supports American families by lowering child care costs, protecting workers’ rights, and providing robust funding for disaster preparedness and response agencies. The package contains provisions Padilla pushed to improve access to mental health support services, strengthen educational opportunities for students, and help reduce workplace heat stress injuries.

The appropriations bills passed by the Senate today include the Defense; Financial Services and General Government; Homeland Security; Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; Legislative Branch; and State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations bills. The package will now be sent to President Biden to be signed into law.

“I am proud to have secured millions of dollars for projects that will help more Californians receive mental health services and expand workforce development programs,” said Senator Padilla. “Investing in the next generation of nurses, firefighters, and engineers will make us safer and healthier while creating more quality jobs across the state. From lowering child care costs to strengthening health care and education access, this bipartisan package continues to move our country forward and delivers for working families.”

Legislative priorities Senator Padilla secured in the second appropriations minibus bill include:

  • Language to promote and support collaboration between Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) and local educational agencies that serve a significant number or percentage of Hispanic or Latino students, in order to create a stronger K-12 to higher education pipeline. Padilla is co-chair of the first-ever Senate HSI Caucus, and pushed for a similar grant program through his Hispanic Educational Resources and Empowerment (HERE) Act. The legislation aims to provide Hispanic and Latino students with the necessary tools and resources to help close the enduring higher education achievement gap.
  • Language directing the CDC to research heat stress and the relationship between heat stress and workplace injuries. Last year, Padilla introduced the Asunción Valdivia Heat Stress Injury, Illness, and Fatality Prevention Act to protect the safety and health of workers who are exposed to dangerous heat conditions in the workplace. He and his colleagues also led 112 members of Congress in calling on the Biden Administration to implement an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) workplace federal heat standard as quickly as possible, modeling the standards after Padilla’s bill.
  • Language to help increase student awareness of mental health resources. Specifically, the bill directs the Department of Education to include phone numbers for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and campus resources in materials and documents routinely provided to students. Senator Padilla is a co-founder of the bipartisan Senate Mental Health Caucus, which ​​serves as a forum for Senators to collaborate on and promote bipartisan legislation and solutions, hold events to raise awareness of critical mental health issues, and destigmatize mental health.
  • Language highlighting the importance of diversity in the STEM workforce. Specifically, the bill emphasizes strong support for increasing opportunities for underrepresented, early-stage researchers. In 2022, the Senate adopted Padilla’s bipartisan resolution to express support for increasing the number of Latino students and young professionals entering careers in STEM.
  • A $103 million increase for the U.S. International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC). This funding will help repair the South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant near the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego to address transborder water pollution in the area. The bill also contains a provision allowing other federal agencies as well as state and local governments to contribute funds to the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the plant. Padilla announced the funding Thursday, which came after a series of previous successful pushes to secure funding to address the pollution crisis.

Padilla secured funding for critical local projects throughout California, including:

  • City of Tulare Regional Business Accelerator — $2.5 million: This funding will support the creation of a small business accelerator in the City of Tulare to create opportunities for equitable economic growth in the City, County, and greater region.
  • Homeboy Industries’ Trainee Program in Los Angeles County — $2 million: This funding will support career pathway training and social services to formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated individuals.
  • Los Angeles County Mental Health Urgent Care Center — $1.5 million: This funding will help build a replacement mental health urgent care center on the LAC-USC Restorative Care Village, which will provide a robust mental health continuum of care for residents of Boyle Heights and the surrounding community.
  • Open Door Network to provide wraparound services for individuals at risk of experiencing homelessness in Kern County — $1.5 million: This funding will support programming to provide safe, stable housing with wraparound case management, education, and employment support to reduce poverty and improve economic outcomes.
  • California State University East Bay for the Hayward Promise Neighborhood — $1.2 million: This funding will support the Hayward Promise Neighborhood, which provides a two-generational approach implemented by local community organizations to address barriers to success and specific needs in K-12 education.
  • Arroyo Grande Creek Levees in San Luis Obispo County — $1.2 million: This funding would support a project to evaluate potential flood easement areas that would provide additional flood protection and reduce flood impacts to an area south of Arroyo Grande Creek that experienced catastrophic flooding in 2001 and 2023.
  • Save the Children’s Food Security Initiatives — $1 million: This funding will increase access to food and educational resources for children facing income and educational inequities in Fresno, Tulare, Los Angeles, Kings, Kern, and Madera County. 
  • Trauma-Informed ACES Screening Program at Gateways Hospital and Mental Health Center in Los Angeles — $500,000: This funding will expand a program to provide trauma-informed care for adolescents in Los Angeles County.
  • Mobile Mental Health Access Point for Rural Californians Project in Merced and Stanislaus Counties — $357,000: This funding will enable La Familia Central Valley to pilot a mobile mental health clinic to expand culturally-competent mental health care access in rural counties.

A full list of community projects Padilla secured funding for is available here.

Additional funding highlights of the second FY 2024 appropriations package include:

  • $14.2 billion for the Social Security Administration’s administrative expenses, an increase of $100 million over FY23, which will help SSA keep up with rising costs to address service delivery challenges.
  • $80 million for a new facility at Vandenberg Space Force Base to expand payload processing capacity for satellite launches.

A summary of the second FY 2024 appropriations minibus package is available here.


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