The 2020-21 California state budget put forward by state leaders recognizes the challenges the state faces and meets state leaders’ Constitutional obligation to enact a balanced budget, the spending plan fails to meet many of the most urgent and basic needs of Californians: ensuring they can safely earn a living in healthy environments and provide food, housing, and health care for their families. Without bolder action, including raising additional revenues and pursuing appropriate borrowing, the enacted 2020-21 budget will exacerbate income and wealth inequality and systemic inequities that permanently leave Californians of color, undocumented residents, and households with low incomes locked out of our state’s prosperity.
Who is hit hardest by California’s job losses that are far worse than the Great Recession? Women and people of color. In only two months – between February and April of this year – California lost 2.6 million jobs. That’s twice as many jobs as California lost during the Great Recession over almost three years. Senior Policy Analyst Alissa Anderson shares more about what the job losses mean for Californians and what policymakers can do to extend support needed now.
Recent acts of police brutality against Black Americans and greater public outcry over the continued abuse and deaths of people across Black communities have amplified calls for defunding, abolishing, and reimagining local policing. This also comes with growing understanding that police violence has disproportionately fatal consequences for Black men and women, and Black transgender women in particular.The calls to action involve significantly transforming the mission and structure of local law enforcement, divesting from local law enforcement in its current forms, and reinvesting the freed-up funding into community-building capacities that would also seek to end racial profiling and police brutality against Black people and other people of color.
California workers who file taxes using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) are currently excluded from the CalEITC, the state’s refundable tax credit for working individuals and families with low incomes. The majority of these excluded immigrant workers – an estimated 2 in 3 of those who could be eligible for the CalEITC – perform jobs considered “essential” during the COVID-19 crisis.
As California faces a projected state budget shortfall in the tens of billions of dollars due to the COVID-19 crisis, Governor Newsom’s revised budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year includes significant reductions to programs and services that help keep Californians healthy. In particular, proposed cuts to Medi- Cal (California’s Medicaid program) could worsen health outcomes as well as undermine efforts to advance health equity at a time when the health and economic hardships from COVID-19 have disproportionately impacted Black and Latinx Californians, women and children in low-income households, and undocumented Californians.