All California children, parents, workers, and community members should have the support they need to meet their basic needs for food, shelter, and other necessities. Yet Californians who are undocumented immigrants, or who have undocumented family members, are blocked from full access to the supports that other Californians can turn to when struggling to meet basic needs. State and federal policies uphold exclusionary practices against undocumented Californians despite them being deeply embedded in our communities and economy.
This report outlines key pieces of the 2021-22 budget proposal, with consideration for how the plan supports — or does not meet the needs of — Californians with low incomes, as well as women, Black Californians, Latinx Californians, American Indians, Pacific Islander Californians, Asian Californians, and other Californians of color.
Spending cap. Constitutional spending limit. Gann Limit. Known by many names, state leaders and Californians are taking a hard look at the constraints imposed by the 1979 measure this year, and asking if the archaic spending limit meets the ongoing needs of Californians and the state’s budget and policy priorities now.
With COVID-19 cases plummeting and vaccine distribution expanding, businesses are picking up hiring. This is bringing hope that California has turned the corner on the pandemic and is setting a path forward for an economic recovery to finally take hold. But as the state begins to emerge from the recession, lawmakers must keep in mind that their policy choices will determine whether the recovery is inclusive of all people and builds toward an economy that works for everyone.
Policymakers are preparing to make decisions on the 2021-22 state budget — and just as there are signs the pandemic is starting to ease in California. Still, data and experience show the economic and health effects of the recession will linger on for Californians, especially people in low-wage jobs, families in low-income households, and Californians of color. How can policymakers address the challenges and barriers for Californians now and meet their ongoing needs, look beyond this budget year to equitably allocate the state’s resources, and confront the widening wealth and income inequality in our state?