SACRAMENTO – The California Budget & Policy Center, a nonpartisan public policy research group, issued the following statement from Executive Director Chris Hoene in response to this morning’s release of Governor Jerry Brown’s revised 2018-19 budget:
“There’s a lot to like in Governor Brown’s revised budget. But especially given the state’s strong revenues, there are some really key areas where we could be doing more to invest in broadening opportunity and promoting economic security.
“The Governor’s revised budget includes some important improvements over the January proposal. Largely in line with a proposal in the Legislature, the May Revision expands eligibility for the California Earned Income Tax Credit to young adults and seniors who are currently excluded, a move that broadens the reach and impact of this important credit. As with the Governor’s proposed budget in January, the May Revision calls for funding to fully implement the Local Control Funding Formula for K-12 education. It’s also good to see the revised budget putting some of the higher-than-expected revenues toward addressing homelessness, investing in infrastructure, and providing mental health services.
“But as the Governor and the Legislature work toward finalizing the state spending plan, there are opportunities to go further in supporting individuals, families, and communities across our state.
“With so many California households struggling to afford the basics, the revised budget’s lack of significant new funding for affordable housing or for subsidized child care and preschool is disappointing. In addition to prioritizing these areas in the final budget, state policymakers also should look to boost CalWORKs grants, which have been below the deep-poverty threshold for a decade, increase support for CSU and UC, increase cash assistance for low-income seniors and people living with disabilities, and expand health coverage to undocumented immigrants.
“It makes sense for the Governor to put some funds in reserves with an eye toward keeping the state’s finances on firm footing. Still, there is space in this budget to go further in addressing economic hardship and investing in the foundations of shared prosperity.”
Budget Center Briefing, May 22: The California Budget & Policy Center, in addition to releasing its “first look” analysis of the May Revision in the coming days, will provide a briefing on this analysis as part of our upcoming event, Making Ends Meet: Policy Prospects This Year and Beyond for Promoting Economic Security in California, in Sacramento the morning of Tuesday, May 22. Visit this event page for details. You can attend in person or watch via live webcast.
The California Budget & Policy Center engages in independent fiscal and policy analysis and public education with the goal of improving public policies affecting the economic and social well-being of low- and middle-income Californians. Support for the Budget Center comes from foundation grants, subscriptions, and individual contributions