Sara Kimberlin, senior policy analyst with the California Budget and Policy Center, says there’s already a mismatch between the federal poverty line and what California families need to make to survive.
“Children younger than 3 years old are especially in need of childcare, with 8 out of 9 eligible infants and toddlers not enrolled in a subsidized program, according to the California Budget & Policy Center, a nonprofit organization that analyzes budgets’ impact on low-income residents. ‘Families across the state are really struggling to afford the high cost of childcare and we know that there is a great deal of unmet need,’ said Kristin Schumacher, an analyst for the California Budget & Policy Center.”
But the number of state-subsidized child care slots is incredibly limited. The California Budget & Policy Center found that of the roughly 2 million kids that qualify for some kind of subsidized care, just 228,100 are actually enrolled in programs that operate on more than a part-time basis.
While workers in the highest-income households in San Francisco have seen income increase 48 percent since 1989, those in the lowest-income households have experienced a five percent decrease in income, according to the California Budget & Policy Center.
Across the bargaining table will be experienced legislative leaders who may be eager to reset the balance of power after serving for years in the long shadow of then-Gov. Jerry Brown. “I think those relationships are going to be very interesting to watch,” said Chris Hoene of the California Budget & Policy Center, a nonprofit that advocates for programs serving the state’s most needy. “All of these decisions are about who wants to use their political capital, and when.”