Earlier today, Governor Newsom proposed a $209 billion spending plan for the 2019-20 year. With the worsening imbalance between rich and poor a top concern for Californians from all walks of life, there are few decisions more important than how our state government decides to distribute our resources.
With the 2018 elections opening a new era in Sacramento, this year’s budget proposal takes a new approach to allocating those resources. CIPC is heartened to see important investments in expanding access to Medi-Cal, addressing the crisis the President created at the border, and continuing the state’s commitment to legal representation and community-based services.
In the face of the federal government’s brash attacks on immigrants’ health, well-being, and safety, California’s leaders must champion proactive policies that uphold our common humanity and defend our shared values. Across California, immigrants are a vital part of our ethnically diverse and culturally rich communities, which embody resilience, compassion, and mutual support every day. CIPC will continue to fight to ensure that the budget decisions the Legislature and Governor make reflect the thriving soul of immigrant communities and properly support all of us.
Below are some highlights of the Governor's proposed state budget. CIPC will release a more comprehensive analysis on specific programs and our budget proposals in the coming weeks.
- CIPC Campaign | Health4All: The Governor’s first budget proposal expands Medi-Cal eligibility to undocumented Californians from age 19 until they turn 26. CIPC, in coordination with our coalition partners, led the charge to achieve this key allocation through the Health4All statewide campaign. While we acknowledge this important first step, we also urge the Legislature and Governor to expand Medi-Cal eligibility to cover all adult Californians, regardless of immigration status. Expanding health care for undocumented people is one more step on the road to health justice for everyone, immigrants and people born in the U.S. alike.
- Affordability: The budget increases financial assistance through Covered California for people with incomes between 250-400% of the federal poverty level (FPL) and expands subsidies to individuals with incomes between 400-600% FPL. This will help many Californians pay for their health insurance.
- Individual mandate: The budget creates a state requirement for health insurance modeled on the federal requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that the Trump administration effectively eliminated. People would be required to obtain comprehensive health care coverage or pay a penalty, unless they qualify for an exemption. Immigrants without documentation status would not be subjected to this mandate.
- CIPC Campaign | Working Families Tax Credit: The California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) provides much-needed assistance to working families and individuals who are struggling to make ends meet, by putting more of their money back in their pockets. The budget creates a new “Working Families Tax Credit” that would double the overall size of CalEITC, increasing the credit to $500 for families with children under the age of six and expanding the credit so that full time workers earning up to $15 an hour would be eligible, allowing an additional 400,000 families to benefit. While CIPC supports the Governor’s expansion, we look forward to working with the Legislature as part of the CalEITC coalition to ensure that all working tax filers, regardless of immigration status, are eligible for the credit.
- Workforce development and adult education: The budget includes additional funding to expand training and job opportunities in the health care, mental health, child care, and climate change fields.
- “Cradle to Career” data system: The budget includes $10 million to develop a longitudinal data system to track performance data of individuals from cradle to career, including early education, K-12 schools, higher education, and employment. We look forward to working with the Legislature to ensure that any data system protects the privacy of every Californian.
- Paid family leave: Currently, California workers may take up to six weeks of paid leave to care for an ill family member, a newborn, or a newly adopted child, while receiving up to 70 percent of their salary. Unfortunately, not every worker is able to take advantage of this opportunity. The Governor proposes convening a task force to determine options for providing up to six months of paid family leave and establishing worker protections to ensure that all workers can participate.
- CIPC Campaign | “One California” and other immigration-related services: The budget maintains 2018 funding levels for qualified immigration services and makes the allocation ongoing in future years, bringing it to $75 million. Currently, the Department of Social Services funds deportation defense, naturalization and other immigration-related legal services through the One California program, along with a separate $3 million to provide counsel to unaccompanied minors. The investment includes continuing funding for legal services to students, faculty and staff at the California Community Colleges (CCCs), California State University campuses (CSUs) and the University of California system (UCs). CIPC convenes the One California Coalition and other partners to monitor implementation of the program, and is leading conversations with the Governor and Legislature regarding opportunities to strengthen the program in the wake of continued federal attacks.
- Rapid response and humanitarian assistance: The budget invests $20 million over a three-year period to establish a new Immigration Rapid Response Program to assist during emergencies, such as the current situation at the border in which migrants in San Diego are arriving without any access to immediate services or assistance. Additionally, the state will invest $5 million immediately to support ongoing efforts from 2018 in San Diego.
- Census outreach and equity: The budget invests an additional $50 million for statewide outreach efforts, conducted in multiple languages, to ensure that all Californians can participate in the upcoming 2020 census, bringing the total funding available to $140.3 million. California has the largest number of hard-to-count residents in the country, making this effort especially important to our state. Accordingly, the budget also includes $4 million to help identify barriers to participating in the census.
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