The California Budget Project (CBP), a nonpartisan public policy research group, released the following statement from Executive Director Chris Hoene on the budget deal announced by Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders today:
“The budget agreement announced by the Governor and legislative leaders today moves our state only a very small step toward much-needed reinvestment in California’s families and communities.
“The increased funding for state preschool is important and will help expand early learning opportunities for low-income children and mitigate the harmful effects of poverty. But beyond this, the budget deal includes no significant new support for many core public services and systems that were hit hard by years of cuts, such as child care slots, higher education, and safety-net services for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. The budget deal also leaves in place deep cuts to health services for low-income Californians, such as a sharp reduction in payments for doctors and other providers who participate in Medi-Cal.
“Providing sufficient funding for key state services is always critical, but it’s especially so with poverty and long-term unemployment still so high. Given the need to help more individuals and families share in California’s economic recovery, it’s disappointing that this budget agreement fails to strike the right balance among paying down debt, saving for a rainy day, and boosting support for core public systems and services, and that it also falls short of laying out a clear vision for investing in our state’s future.”
The CBP will release additional commentary and analysis on the budget agreement in the coming days and weeks.