Today, Governor Brown revealed his proposed spending plan of $131.7 billion General Fund dollars for California’s 2018-19 state budget. In the final year of his term, Governor Brown continued his long-standing emphasis on ‘fiscal restraint.’ For the Governor, the potential uncertainty of future revenues and potential economic downturns remain key concerns.

CIPC is committed to fighting for a budget that upholds our values of inclusion and compassion. As we face harsh attacks from the federal government, we cannot allow whole communities to be systematically cut out and excluded from care, support, and well-being. Nothing less than California’s future is at stake.


The proposed figures in the Governor’s budget do not yet reflect the significant implications of changing federal policies and funding such as the pending re-authorization of CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) and the new federal tax law. These and other federal developments may substantially impact California’s budget, and require close monitoring.

On the bright side, the Governor’s proposal continues California’s commitment to fund immigration services and legal representation to reduce deportations. The Governor’s proposal also includes new investments that support access to higher education and census outreach planning.

However, there is more work ahead to ensure that California’s budget responds to the realities of our State and continues efforts to improve access to health care and provide critical assistance to families in poverty. Unfortunately, even with an estimated $6.1 billion surplus, the Governor’s budget does not provide significant funding to critical safety net programs that help push back on rising economic inequalities. Our state must respond to the federal government’s harsh exclusions of immigrants from critical support. These exclusions hurt us all.

We applaud Governor Brown’s comments recognizing the contributions of California’s immigrant communities to the state’s social and economic fabric. However, from healthcare, to the Earned Income Tax Credits and the CalFresh program, to a slew of other economic support programs, many working families remain excluded from accessing vital support, despite their fundamental role in California’s civic, cultural, and economic life.

California must continue to build on recent progress that uplifts our values of equity and social and economic justice.

Please find below major budget highlights of the Governor's proposed state budget and its impact on immigrant communities. In the coming weeks, CIPC will release additional analysis of the implications of the proposed budget for California’s immigrants and their families.

Adult Education & Workforce Development

Adult Education Block Grant -

The Adult Education Block Grant (AEBG) is an important source of state funding to programs and services that provide adults with the knowledge needed to be prepared for the workforce, such as English language courses, GED attainment, and vocational skills. These programs and services also support integration and inclusion outcomes for immigrants not seeking employment training but services that support their engagement in community and civic life. This year’s budget continues to sustain the $500 million funding. CIPC will continue to monitor efforts to ensure that factors promoting immigrant and refugee inclusion help shape adult education in California.

Access to Higher Education: California Online Community College -

There are currently 2.4 million Californians in the prime working ages between 25 and 34 who have only a high school diploma or some college but no degree. Nearly half of these are from Spanish-speaking households. This particular age group of students are also active in the labor force, making it difficult to have time to commute to school, attend class, and study at home.

Governor Brown’s budget proposes investing $100 million in one-time funds, and $20 million in ongoing funds, to create an online California community college. This effort is aimed at providing a more accessible option for higher education to California’s students, and improving economic opportunities for people who have extremely limited or no access to educational and training programs. Community-based organizations will be included in the development of this effort to promote the system in underrepresented communities.

While this will create another avenue for immigrant communities, especially adults, to attain higher education, vocational training and credentials, CIPC will continue to track details in the proposed new online system to ensure that it works seamlessly and effectively with current adult education and workforce development systems in order to meet the unique needs of immigrants and refugees.

New funding formula for California’s Community Colleges -

The current community college funding formula for general purpose apportionments is based primarily on enrollment, encouraging districts to strictly prioritize student access. This year’s budget proposes a new formula that aims to reward colleges for improved student success metrics and encourage access for underrepresented students. There is an increase of $175 million to support the transition from the old to the new formula. CIPC will provide further analysis of the formula’s core components and its impact on immigrant equity and inclusion.

Health and Human Services

Medi-Cal -

Republicans in Congress have attempted to repeal and undermine the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through various proposals and actions. In December 2017, Congress passed its federal tax bill which included a provision repealing the individual mandate, a key piece in the ACA that required individuals to buy health insurance or pay a tax penalty. The proposed budget does not make any changes to Medi-Cal that respond to federal actions. However, the Governor expresses caution when looking towards the future of the ACA. CIPC along with partners will continue to fight against any efforts to cut Medicaid and also advance policies that provide Medi-Cal coverage to all Californians, regardless of immigration status.

Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) -

CHIP, through Medi-Cal, funds critical health care to children and pregnant women whose families do not qualify for Medicaid due to the federal income limits but cannot afford private insurance. On December 21, 2017, Congress passed short-term funding for CHIP as part of the continuing resolution to fund the government until January 19th. The proposed budget makes no changes to CHIP and continues state funding to this critical program. Congress’s delay in providing long-term funding will harm the CHIP program, which serves 2 million children and pregnant women in California. CIPC continues to urge Congress to provide long-term funding for CHIP to ensure these individuals continue to receive care.

Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) and California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) -

The Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) and California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) were created as state-funded programs to support immigrant families after the passage of the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, also known as federal welfare reform.

CAPI - CAPI is a state-funded program that provides cash assistance to low-income eligible aged, blind, and disabled immigrants who are not eligible for Supplemental Security Income/State Supplemental Payment (SSI/SSP) due to their immigration status. Due to the rising cost of living, the proposed budget includes an increase in SSI/SSP monthly grant levels by $20 for individuals and $29 for couples effective January 2019. For CAPI beneficiaries they will see an increase for $10 for individuals and $9 for couples effective January 2019.

CFAP - CFAP provides state-funded food assistance to qualified non-citizen immigrants who are not eligible for CalFresh due to their immigration status.The proposed budget does not include any changes to eligibility or grant amounts.

Immigrant Integration

2020 Census -

The proposed budget invests $40.3 million in a multi-year, multi-lingual effort towards the 2020 Census count for statewide outreach and related activities. This funding is intended to help improve representation for all Californians in the U.S. House of Representatives and federal funding levels for communities throughout the state.

“One California” Immigration Services Funding -

The proposed budget maintains a $45 million investment in immigration services including education, outreach, legal representation and legal services for low income immigrant Californians. The program is administered by the CA Department of Social Services. This funding is part of the program’s expansion in the 2017-18 budget that included ongoing funding at $45 million through the 2019-2020 fiscal year. For information regarding the details of this funding please click here.

Assemblymember Santiago and Assemblymember Carrillo have announced a proposal for the one time addition of $10 million to the “One California” program for assistance to Salvadorans with Temporary Protected Status (TPS). CIPC will provide more information once this proposal has been officially introduced.

Undocumented Unaccompanied Minors (UUM) Program -

The proposed budget continues a $3 million investment to fund legal counsel for unaccompanied children fleeing violence in their home countries.

Language Access

The proposed budget invests $4 million dollars to expand availability of interpreters for civil court proceedings. This funding is especially impactful for individuals with limited English proficiency, including people in family court proceedings such as victims of domestic violence to ensure they are treated with dignity and justice.  

Workers’ Rights

In 2017, Governor Brown signed AB 450 (Chiu), the Immigrant Worker Protection Act. The Budget includes $1.6 million and additional staff positions to implement AB 450 and protect the immigrant workforce from unlawful detainment and workplace retaliation.


What’s Next?

In the coming weeks, CIPC will release additional analysis of the implications of the proposed state budget for California’s immigrants and their families. In the meantime, subscribe to our CIPC alerts to stay updated!

Have Questions? For more information please contact CIPC’s Government Affairs Manager, Gina Da Silva, at