On May 11, Governor Jerry Brown announced May budget revisions that reflect California’s commitment to reduce poverty, defend affordable healthcare and uplift families with the highest need. Gov. Brown’s decision to allocate additional funds to support vulnerable families and young children is a move in the right direction amidst looming federal cuts that threaten to set us back, particularly with the passage of the American Health Care Act by the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Our state budget and public investments are a reflection of our values as California looks to lead the way in this moment of political uncertainty,” said Khydeeja Alam Javid, Director of Governmental Relations at Advancement Project California. “We are proud to be longstanding partners with the community advocates who have pushed for equitable spending and will support the Governor in our collective effort to defend access to healthcare for all.”
Highlights from the budget revise include:
- Investing in Early Childcare and Education: The budget revise includes retracting an initial proposed pause on early childhood education and care, allowing for the expansion of full-day preschool and other quality early learning programs. Advancement Project California supports this move and will continue to advocate for changes to the state’s minimum income eligibility requirement so that families from all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds are able to access important early childcare and education services.
- Improving Public Safety through Proposition 47 Savings: Proposition 47’s reforms emptied over 5,000 prison beds last year, and according to the Governor’s revised budget proposal, over 4,400 are expected to remain empty this year. Compared to January’s proposal, the revise does slightly increase the estimate of the resulting savings by $2.6 million, to $45.6 million total, but the Governor continues to follow a fundamentally flawed approach that ties savings to the cost of in-state prison beds rather than contract beds — which would short-change localities of $100 million in much-needed funding to provide preventive mental health and substance abuse services, and bolster crucial job-training and re-entry programs.
- Increasing Funds for K-12 Education: Funding for the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) has increased by an additional $661M, bringing our state closer to full implementation of the formula and allowing school districts to dedicate resources towards targeted support services for students of the highest need, including students in poverty, foster youth and English language learners.
- Defending Immigrant Families: Advancement Project California acknowledges the allocation of an additional $15M to expand legal services that support vulnerable immigrant families. We stand in solidarity with community organizations that provide crucial legal defense to families at risk of being wrongfully torn apart and support legislative efforts to renew our commitment to immigrant families.
We have a lot of work to do in the coming weeks, months and years ahead. Advancement Project California will continue to work with Governor Jerry Brown and the legislature to ensure that our state’s most vulnerable children and their families’ needs are prioritized in this budget and years ahead.
Tags: 2016-17 budget, Access to care, Affordable Care Act, Early Childhood, ECE, Education, Governor's Budget, Health Equity, Prop 47