SACRAMENTO, CA — On the heels of Governor Newsom’s 2024-25 budget proposal released this morning, the California Budget & Policy Center (Budget Center), a nonpartisan research and analysis nonprofit, weighed in with the following statement from its executive director, Chris Hoene.
“In good times and in bad, all Californians deserve the dignity and support necessary to lead thriving lives. State leaders possess both the tools and responsibility to assist Californians, safeguard critical services, and address the 2024-25 budget year deficit. With a variety of budget tools — including raising additional revenues — state leaders can fulfill their duty to ensure the well-being of Californians and navigate the challenges ahead.
“Despite the budget shortfall, California is home to great wealth. Governor Newsom’s resistance to raising revenue and making the state’s tax system more fair poses a risk of additional cuts to essential services like healthcare, education, poverty reduction programs, climate resilience, and public transportation, making it even harder for Californians who are already struggling to get by.
“State leaders should exhaust alternatives to austerity measures, which would disproportionately negatively impact low-income communities and Californians of color. The governor’s proposal for ongoing reductions to CalWORKs supportive services, delays to programs that help address the homelessness crisis, the lack of new investment in affordable housing, and continued delay of additional child care slots for a second year, are particularly concerning because they would harm Californians who are facing the greatest need.
“In addition to responsibly drawing down budget reserves and reducing unallocated one-time and temporary spending, policymakers can increase state revenues by eliminating costly tax breaks to ensure profitable corporations and the wealthy pay their fair share in taxes. Even temporary suspensions of certain tax breaks could play a crucial role in ensuring a fair distribution of our state’s wealth and help leaders address the shortfall.
“The silver lining here is that California is far better equipped to tackle this challenge than it was heading into the Great Recession, courtesy of a decade of prudent budgeting and savings in the state’s rainy day funds. This resiliency is evident by the governor’s steadfast commitment to expanding full-scope Medi-Cal to all Californians regardless of immigration status, maintaining a strong CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credit, preserving investments and reforms to education systems, and safeguarding mental health investments, all of which are essential for building a more equitable state. However, there is still much more room for improvement to enhance Californians’ well-being and secure our state’s fiscal future.”
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The California Budget & Policy Center (Budget Center) is a nonpartisan research and analysis nonprofit advancing public policies that expand opportunities and promote well-being for all Californians.