May 20, 2022
Last Friday, Governor Newsom released the revision of his proposed 2022-2023 budget. The state is now projected to have a surplus bigger than California—or any state—has ever had: $97.5 billion. This was made possible by tax revenues from the wealthy who have flourished during the pandemic and federal Covid relief funds.
Roughly half of the surplus, as required by law, will be spent on education, leaving $49.2 billion in discretionary money. The governor seeks to use 99% of that for one-time spending, including an $18.1 billion package to provide financial relief for Californians impacted by inflation. To help with the high cost of gasoline, the governor proposes to send $400 per vehicle (a maximum of $800) to most car owners, including middle- and upper-income earners.
The May Revision incorporates important measures to address the needs of low-income immigrant communities throughout the state. This includes a historic proposal to position California as the first in the nation to make comprehensive healthcare a reality for all income-eligible residents, regardless of immigration status. The governor also fulfilled his January commitment to remove exclusions from food assistance for income-eligible undocumented Californians ages 55 and older.
However, the budget does not meaningfully acknowledge the growing wealth and wage disparities that exist between California’s poorest and wealthiest populations.
Rather, it misses a vital opportunity to reverse historical exclusions from public support programs and ensure that all Californians are able to access critical food assistance and unemployment benefits.
With growing inflation, immigrant communities have become increasingly vulnerable. We urge our state leadership to address the disparate impacts of price increases to help California’s most marginalized residents—already pinched by the state’s high cost of living—keep up with their basic needs.
According to the Public Policy Institute of California, the lowest income families have experienced an overall increase in prices of 9.6% since December 2019, and spent 83% of their budget (or $26,500) on essentials like food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and health care. Today, to purchase the same things they bought in 2019, the lowest fifth of families would need to spend an additional $3,000. Additionally, support for households during the pandemic—such as increased food assistance, direct stimulus payments, and tax credits for families with children—were mostly temporary and have now expired.
On Friday, during his press conference, the governor said, “Here in California, we’re putting in the work to grow our economy and implement real, inclusive policy change to create a brighter future for all.” We couldn’t agree more. That is why, in January, we released the Immigrant Equity Budget, a $2.5 billion investment in long-term transformative change that builds economic resiliency to truly build a California for All. Unfortunately, despite his inclusion of a groundbreaking investment in Health4All, and a partial investment in Food4All, this May Revision falls short of meeting the basic necessities of our immigrant communities. Our work continues.
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In California, the largest remaining uninsured group is undocumented individuals between the ages of 26 and 49. The governor reiterated the state’s commitment to Health4All with a budget plan that includes $819.3 million in 2023-24 and $2.7 billion annually at full implementation (unchanged from January). This would remove exclusions from full-scope Medi-Cal for 764,000 income-eligible adult Californians, regardless of immigration status. This would also build upon our prior community wins achieving full access to Medi-Cal for kids, young adults, and older adults ages 50 and above. Despite this historic proposal, more than 40,000 undocumented young adults could lose Medi-Cal coverage between the projected end of the Public Health Emergency (PHE) and January 2024. CIPC continues to urge the administration and legislative leadership to maintain continuity of care for these young adults, who are set to potentially age out of full-scope Medi-Cal coverage. Please sign up to join our advocacy efforts and ensure that this proposal is signed into law!
In January of this year, the governor introduced a historic proposal to make California Food Assistance Program (CFAP), the state-funded counterpart to CalFresh, available to income-eligible undocumented Californians age 55 and older. Food assistance programs like CalFresh and CFAP reduce food insecurity, improve health, and mitigate poverty in the long-term—with an outsized impact on immigrant communities.
The budget proposal allocates $35.2 million in General Funds for planning purposes, increasing to $113.4 million in General Funds annually beginning in 2025-26. Despite the Senate’s inclusion of $284 million for Food4All in its 2022 budget plan— extending eligibility to all income-eligible immigrant Californians —the governor’s budget remains unchanged since January. Following the release of the May Revision, the Department of Finance published proposed trailer bill language, which includes provisions that do not require CFAP applicants to present a Social Security Number, meet the federal Food Stamp Program work requirement or other work requirements. As rising food prices eat away at the grocery budgets of low-income California residents, the Food4All coalition continues to urge our elected officials to remove ALL exclusions from CFAP, regardless of age or immigration status. We will need your support to urge the governor and legislature to invest in Food4All and create a California where we all have a plate at the dinner table. Sign up for updates and share your story to help us keep the drum beat going!
Since 2020, immigrant and workers’ rights groups have been calling on the governor and the legislature to provide unemployment benefits to workers who are excluded from unemployment insurance solely due to their immigration status. Why? Because the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how unemployment benefits are a lifeline for workers; they keep food on the table, help workers get back to work quickly, and prevent people from falling into poverty, homelessness, or worse. Despite an enormous budget surplus that was created in part by excluded immigrant labor, the Safety Net for All coalition’s proposal for an Excluded Worker program — which would provide $300 a week for up to 20 weeks to immigrant workers who lose their job and are excluded from Unemployment Insurance — was not included in the governor’s May Revise. We now need your support to call on the governor and the legislature to help build a more resilient and equitable California with a safety net for all of us. Join us!
Workforce Development: The governor’s May Revision proposes $17 million to expand High Road Training Partnerships (HRTP) in sector initiatives focused on addressing extreme heat – including heating, ventilation and cooling, cool roofs, urban forestry, and climate smart natural resource management.
This is in addition to the more than $250 million in workforce development funding for immigrant communities proposed in January. This includes $30 million towards Integrated Education and Training for English Language Learner pilot programs (the May Revision clarifies that undocumented immigrants have access); $20 million to expand workplace literacy training for workers; $10 million for immigrant youth earn-and-learn programs through community colleges and community organizations; $130 million to support health care careers for people learning English; and $60 million to expand scholarships and loan repayments in healthcare and social work for multilingual applicants. These are major successes that build on years of work to expand access to job training and careers for our communities.
Workers’ Rights: In addition to the governor’s January budget of $1.4 million in ongoing investments to improve awareness and enforcement of workplace rights, the May Revision also includes $24.5 million for the Department of Industrial Relations to conduct targeted outreach and education in multiple languages and increased strategic enforcement to protect workers from heat-related illness and wildfire smoke hazards.
The May Revision also includes an increase of $13 million to support U.C. Labor Centers and Occupational Safety and Health Programs, and $136 million to improve and modernize the Employment Development Department. Additionally, it proposes $933 million for one-time, up to $1500 payments to approximately 600,000 California hospital and nursing facility workers who have been at the front-lines delivering care to the most acute patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Notably, the budget does not include raising the payment rates for Paid Family Leave and State Disability Insurance, critical to allowing workers to take paid time off to care for themselves or loved ones.
CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credit:
The May Revision proposes that the $1,000 Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC) can be claimed by eligible households with zero income, and will be indexed to inflation in future years so that its value does not erode over time. In addition, the budget proposes investing $20 million ongoing towards providing eligible former foster youth with $1,000 in tax credits.
Unfortunately, the May Revision does not include the CalEITC Coalition’s proposals to create a state Child Tax Credit and to increase the minimum credit to put more money in the pockets of struggling, low-income, Californians.
Economic Security: The May Revision includes $2.7 billion for COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program applications made before March 31, 2022; $1.2 billion to help people pay past-due home energy bills through the California Arrearage Payment Program, and $200 million to help people pay past-due water and wastewater bills for their homes through the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program. The May Revision also includes funding to waive family fees for state-subsidized preschool and childcare from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023, as well as $750 million to incentivize transit agencies to provide free transit for Californians for three months.
Notably, the governor’s May Revision continues to propose sending $400 checks per vehicle (up to $800) to most car owners as part of his plan to promote economic security, but this proposal excludes people who do not own vehicles.
Overall: We echo our partners at the California Budget & Policy Center, recognizing that several of the governor’s proposals, including a proposal to spend $3 billion to unnecessarily pay down a federal unemployment insurance loan, essentially amount to tax breaks and investments that primarily benefit larger businesses, corporations, and the wealthy. Until the budget is finalized June 15, we will continue to work with our partners to ensure that investments are equitable, meaningful, and targeted for low-income Californians.
Health Navigator Project: The May Revise includes $60 million ($30 million General Fund), available over four years, to continue the Health Enrollment Navigators Project. Health enrollment navigators play a vital role in helping eligible beneficiaries enroll and retain Medi-Cal coverage by assisting with annual redeterminations, reporting updated contact information, and engaging in key outreach. These navigators will also provide pivotal assistance for newly-eligible Medi-Cal beneficiaries as a result of our Health4All campaign.
CalAIM: The California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) Initiative is a bold, long-term commitment to reducing health disparities and making the care delivered to Medi-Cal beneficiaries more person-centered. It addresses social determinants of health and focuses on overlooked populations – including justice-involved individuals, those experiencing homelessness, and those with serious behavioral health conditions. CalAIM was delayed last year due to the COVID-19 PHE, but the Governor’s proposed budget includes $435.5 million in 2021-22, $982.6 million in 2022-23, $876.4 million in 2023-24, and $500 million in 2024-25 from General Fund dollars to begin rolling out CalAIM initiatives.
Medi-Cal Provider Equity Payments: The budget proposal includes a one-time $200 million General Fund allocation for provider payments focused on advancing equity in children’s preventive, maternity, and integrated behavioral health care.
Office of Health Care Affordability: Another initiative postponed due to the pandemic, the budget proposal reappropriates $30 million General Fund to establish the Office of Health Care Affordability. This office will develop cost targets for all sectors of the healthcare industry and penalties to enforce compliance, report quality performance and equity metrics across the entire health care system, and address regional/geographic health disparities.
Covered California Affordability: During the PHE, the federal government provided enhanced subsidies under the American Rescue Plan Act. If action is not taken to extend federal subsidies for 2023 and beyond, the May Revision proposes $304 million to reinstitute the state’s premium subsidy program that was in effect in 2020 and 2021, which would provide support to lower-income Californians and individuals with incomes between 400 and 600 percent of the federal poverty level and make Covered California more affordable.
Reproductive Health: In response to a purported overturn of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court, the May Revision seeks to further safeguard a woman’s right to choose, including an additional $57 million one-time General Fund (building on $68 million included in the January budget to support access to reproductive health care): $40 million (available over 6 years) to cover abortions for uninsured low- and middle-income patients; $15 million for community organizations to conduct “medically accurate and culturally competent outreach and education” on sexual and reproductive health; $1 million for a one-stop-shop reproductive health website; and $1 million to research unmet needs for access to reproductive health care services.
School Meals: The 2022 governor’s budget included an additional $596 million ongoing Proposition 98 General Fund, to provide universal access to school meals for all K-12 students in California, beyond the expiration of the federal income eligibility waiver. The May Revision increases this amount to $611.8 million ongoing Proposition 98 General Fund to augment the state meal reimbursement rate sufficient to maintain meal reimbursement rates beginning in 2022-23. This higher rate of reimbursement will enable local educational agencies to continue offering higher-quality, more diverse meals for students. No immigration restrictions exist for K-12 nutrition programs; children may obtain universal school meals regardless of their immigration status.
CalWORKs: California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) is California’s version of the federal TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) program and provides temporary cash assistance and welfare-to-work services to low-income families with children. The May Revision includes an 11% increase to CalWORKs Maximum Aid Payment (MAP) levels, estimated to cost $296.2 million in 2022-23. The MAP is the maximum amount a household can receive monthly from CalWORKS and is determined by household size. Unfortunately, undocumented and many lawfully present immigrants are ineligible for CalWORKs.
SSI/SSP & CAPI: The federal SSI (Supplemental Security Income) program provides a monthly cash benefit to individuals with disabilities who meet the program’s income and resource requirements. In California, the SSI payment is augmented with a SSP (State Supplementary Payment) grant. These cash grants help recipients meet their basic needs and living expenses. The state-funded CAPI (Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants) provides monthly cash benefits to aged, blind, and disabled individuals who are ineligible for SSI/SSP due solely to their immigration status (sadly, undocumented and some lawfully present immigrants are ineligible for both SSI/SSP and CAPI). CAPI benefits are equivalent to SSI/SSP benefits.
The budget proposes $3.1 billion General Fund in 2022-23 for the SSI/SSP program (unchanged from January)), putting the maximum grant levels at $1,040 per month for individuals and $1,766 per month for couples. The budget also assumes an SSP increase of 24% effective January 1, 2024, resulting in an estimated $296 million General Fund in 2023-24 and $593 million ongoing.
Our criminal legal system disproportionately harms Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color (BIPOC) and immigrant communities. CIPC is committed to supporting programs and initiatives that support immigrant communities and address the inequities and harm entrenched in our current system.
The governor’s May Revision continues to contain several items related to incarceration and law enforcement, including:
COVID in Prisons: The budget includes a one-time allocation of $240.1 million to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) for COVID-19 prevention, mitigation, and response activities, a decrease of $184.6 million compared to the governor’s January budget.
Health Care for Incarcerated People: The May Revision includes $3.7 billion General Fund for health care programs, which provide incarcerated individuals with access to mental health, medical, and dental care services.
Returning Home Well Program: The May Revision builds on the governor’s January proposal ($10.6 million allocated annually for three years), by adding $3 million one-time General Fund to provide transitional housing to youth discharged from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) in 2022-23. Transitional housing will be available to youth who are at risk of being unhoused upon their release to support them successfully reenter their communities.
CDCR Staff Misconduct: The May Revision includes resources for CDCR to implement its new staff misconduct investigation process – $34.3 million in 2022‐23, and $34 million ongoing – and to handle complaints of staff misconduct filed by people who are incarcerated.
The May Revision also builds upon January allocations of $2.3 million General Fund in 2022-23 and $3.6 million ongoing for the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to engage in oversight and monitoring CDCR’s staff misconduct investigation process. It adds $5.6 million General Fund in 2022-23 and $11.4 million ongoing for the OIG for this purpose.
Wrongful Conviction Compensation: The May Revision maintains an allocation of $7 million ongoing to provide resources and an expedited process to compensate people who have been erroneously convicted of a crime.
Pilot Program for Victim Services: The budget allocates $30 million one-time General Funds, to be spent over three years, to establish an innovative pilot program to provide victim services across California. This includes operating satellite offices for trauma recovery centers or other victim services providers in hard-to-reach and/or rural areas.
Media Outreach to Crime Victims: The budget allocates $3 million one-time Restitution Fund to conduct an outreach campaign to raise awareness of statewide victim support services, while targeting hard-to-reach populations.
Local Law Enforcement & Retail Theft: The May Revision maintains that local law enforcement (police departments, county sheriffs, probation departments, California Highway Patrol, district attorneys, and the Department of Justice) would receive $356 million over three years, including $132 million in 2022-23 to “crack down” on retail theft.
One California: The Governor’s budget maintains an ongoing allocation of $43.7 million from the General Fund to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to support legal services, as well as education and outreach, to low-income immigrant Californians. CDSS funds qualified organizations and administers programs that provide critical services to immigrants in California.
Removal Defense Services: The California Immigration Legal Fellowship was awarded $2.5 million General Fund one-time in both 2022-23 and 2023-24 to continue its work, falling short of its $10 million ask by advocates. It is the first statewide program to expand access to immigration counsel for those facing deportation in the most underserved rural regions of the state.
Resource Navigation: The May Revision maintains $8.7 million in grant funding for local governments to provide technical assistance to immigrant communities in navigating state and local resources.
Border Communities: The May Revision proposes $468 million for border operations that will continue the state’s COVID-19 response and humanitarian assistance at the southern border in response to Title 42, in anticipation of increased arrivals and the need for additional support services.
The May Revision also includes Rapid Response Efforts—$175 million one-time General Fund for Rapid Response efforts to provide additional support for migrant arrivals at the Southern California border and funding for other emergent issues.
The May Revision does not make any changes to the January proposal to invest $11.6 million for the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to support statewide coordination for immigrant inclusion efforts, and to propel innovation and economic development activities, including at the California-Mexico border.
Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications: The May Revision maintains $65 million in ongoing General Fund allocations to create the Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications. Housed in the Office of Planning and Research (OPR), the office will “manage the state’s highest priority public awareness and community outreach campaigns, with a focus on civic and youth engagement.”
In addition, the May Revision includes $100 million in one-time General Funds in 2022-23 to continue COVID-19 vaccine-related public education and outreach campaigns. This builds upon $130 million allocated to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to continue vaccine-related outreach efforts in 2022-23. This brings the total amount for COVID-19 outreach to $230 million in 2022-23. The May Revision transfers these resources to the Office, which will assume responsibility for COVID-19 vaccine-related outreach and education.