The COVID-19 public health crisis has upended the lives of Californians. While a relatively small but rapidly increasing number of Californians have gotten sick - and some unfortunately have died from the disease - millions more people have experienced serious disruptions to their jobs, schools, child care settings, and services as a result of the public health measures required to “flatten the curve” of infections. The potential health effects and economic effects may be severe – and Californians with low incomes will be especially hard hit. How should state policymakers respond, to ensure Californians who can least afford economic hardship and health setbacks receive the support they need now? 

The Budget Center believes that even in times of crisis, California can lead with strategic and targeted policies that achieve the greatest impact for the children, families, individuals, and workers whose economic and social well-being is most affected by the consequences of COVID-19. We must remember the health of our economy and communities is only as strong as the support we extend to every Californian.