A Budget Center Analysis of Governor Newsom’s Proposed 2020-21 Budget: On January 10, Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed 2020-21 budget that advances a series of commitments to some of the most pressing needs facing Californians: addressing homelessness and behavioral health, providing access to affordable health coverage, and improving paid family leave so that more workers can care for their family members. The Governor forecasts revenues that are $5.8 billion higher (over a three-year “budget window” from 2018-19 to 2020-21) than previously projected in the 2019-20 budget enacted in June, driven largely by continued economic growth.
State policymakers have many opportunities to continue building the state’s fiscal health and invest in the people of California as they consider policy priorities for 2020-21 and beyond. While California is a wealthy state home to many high-income households and businesses that have been able to greatly leverage resources and expand their wealth in the last several decades, millions more Californians live a different reality every day. Workers in low- and mid-wage jobs are unable to afford the high cost of living – from paying for housing and child care to stretching their paychecks at the end of the month to cover food and medical bills. This is true no matter what region Californians work in across the state and call home.
A comprehensive guide to the California state budget process: we provide an overview of the year-round state budget cycle, detail the roles of the key players, and lay out the timeline for state budgeting as well as opportunities for input. Our hope is that this guide makes the state budget process more accessible for policy staff, advocates, and the media, as well as to broaden participation in the budget debate.
It’s hard work to be able to afford to live, raise a family, and eventually retire in California, especially for workers with low or moderate incomes. While the plight of these workers has never been easy — and workers who are black, Latinx, or women experience some of the greatest economic disadvantages and discrimination in the workplace — research shows that wages and benefits have significantly eroded for many Californians in recent decades. Many workers are being paid little more today than workers were in 1979 even as worker productivity has risen.
California was the first state to broadly promote family and community well-being by providing paid time off for working people to care for an ill family member or for a child who is new to the family. Implemented in 2004, California’s paid family leave program built on the state’s longstanding disability insurance program, which allows parents to take paid time off before and after childbirth.