On June 25, 2015, Budget Center Senior Policy Analyst Alissa Anderson presented “Strategies to Reduce Poverty in California” at Delta Kappa Gamma Chi-State’s 2015 Legislative Study Session.
A persistent challenge for California workers in the years immediately following the Great Recession was the lack of wage growth. Even as the labor market continued to rebound and unemployment fell, workers across the wage distribution continued to lose ground as the purchasing power of their wages eroded.
On June 24, Governor Jerry Brown signed the 2015-16 state budget package. This budget calls for $115 billion in spending from the General Fund for the fiscal year beginning July 1 and makes several significant advances. At the same time, however, the state’s economic gains remain uneven, and the budget package leaves much undone in rebuilding critical safety net services battered by cuts during and after the Great Recession.
This analysis looks at average income among the top 1 percent of Californians and among those in the middle, illustrating the high level of income inequality in our state.
In an effort to promote a better understanding of economic hardship in California, this issue brief focuses on people with incomes lower than half of the federal poverty line, commonly referred to as deep poverty. This analysis discusses the disproportionate impact of deep poverty on women and children as well as its long-term effects, and identifies specific ways that state policies can help combat deep poverty and foster economic security and well-being.