July 22, 2022
State Funding for the City

Long Beach received $18.6 million from the State of California for various infrastructure projects, with four nonprofits splitting another $15 million for similar efforts.

The state’s $300.7 billion budget, which Gov. Gavin Newsom signed on June 30, provides significant investments in cities throughout California, with money going toward health services, housing and homelessness, and education, among other initiatives. While the state’s 2023 fiscal year began July 1st, Long Beach’s won’t begin until October 1st.
“While the Budget provides record-level investments, it also balances the historic growth in State surplus revenues by increasing reserves to $37.2 billion total, in anticipation of an impending economic downturn,” Tom Modica, City Manager. “State revenues are heavily dependent on capital gains tax, which is more volatile than other revenues streams, and State leaders expect to face significant financial pressures in coming years.”

The city received $10.2 million in direct funding for El Dorado Park, $4 million for the Multi-Service Center, $1.6 million for El Dorado youth softball and baseball fields, and another $1.6 million for Sterns Park softball and baseball fields, and $1.2 million for the Wrigley Greenbelt.

Long Beach will also benefit from direct funding for public health programs since the city has its own Health and Human Services Department. The state budget does include $1.1 billion for COVID-19 strategies and another $200 million has been set aside specifically for local health agencies, but the exact split is yet to be determined.

Housing and homelessness also continue to be top priorities at both the state and local levels. The state legislature has promised $2 billion over two years to develop affordable housing, with that sum to be spent on everything from adaptive reuse and financing for multi-family projects to incentives for accessory dwelling units.

In the fight to ease homelessness, the state has pledged $3.4 billion over three years, including $1.5 billion for immediate bridge housing solutions for people who are homeless and have a serious mental illness, and $1.3 billion for Project Homekey — both projects Long Beach is working on.

The city already has received $1.3 million for Encampment Resolution, which allows for more outreach to those without permanent shelter. Another $700 million has been added to that program statewide.

Finally, Long Beach will receive $8.6 million from the Homeless Housing, Accountability, and Prevention program this fiscal year; the state budget deal includes $1 billion to continue the HHAP program in 2024.
Long Beach Airport – New Service
Southwest Airlines announced on Wednesday, July 21, that it will launch weekly nonstop flights from Long Beach Airport (LGB) to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) on a seasonal basis from January 8 through the end of March 2023, just in time for Mardi Gras season.

“As passenger traffic continues to get back to pre-pandemic levels it’s great to see Southwest connecting more travelers to new destinations,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Long Beach Airport offers one of the best travel experiences around the country, and I’m so glad to see the expansion of our operations.”

Southwest’s flights to New Orleans—utilizing the airline’s Boeing 737 fleet—will depart LGB at 12:30 p.m. on Sundays and arrive at MSY at 6 p.m. The return flight departs MSY at 4:55 p.m. and arrives back at LGB at 7:15 p.m. In addition to the new Sunday flights, Southwest offers daily service throughout the year between Long Beach and New Orleans through the airline’s point-to-point network.

“We welcome Southwest adding this Sunday shortcut from our award-winning airport to the Big Easy, giving travelers more convenient options,” said Airport Director Cynthia Guidry.

Southwest Airlines first began service from LGB in 2016 and has continued to increase its presence at the Airport since then. Of the 53 daily flight slots available at Long Beach’s noise-controlled airport, Southwest currently holds a majority, with a total of 38.

Including New Orleans, the Dallas-based airline will now fly nonstop to 16 U.S. cities from LGB.
In addition to Southwest’s flight slots, Delta Air Lines holds seven, American Airlines holds four, Hawaiian Airlines has two, and Breeze Airways and UPS each have one.

Long Beach Airport will now offer nonstop service to 17 destinations across the nation, including Hawaii.