GRACE & End Child Poverty California Respond to Governor’s May Revision Budget

GRACE & End Child Poverty California Respond to Governor’s May Revision Budget

Governor and Legislature Must Adopt Final Budget That Prevent Cuts And Irreparable Harm To Children and Families

PASADENA, CALIF., UNITED STATES, May 10, 2024 / — Statement attributable to Shimica Gaskins, President & CEO, GRACE & End Child Poverty California (ECPCA):

Just two years ago child poverty was at historic lows through a combination of landmark state and federal actions during the pandemic, only to see the dramatic, if predictable, reversal in overall child poverty and deep racial disparities with their expiration.

The Governor made ending child poverty his North Star, and actions by the Administration and Legislature over the past several years have proven those values.

Based on what we believe today’s summary indicates, we commend continued progress from investments already made, and cuts prevented in this budget. That includes not retrenching on progress to end deep poverty by reaching CalWORKs grant levels that are at least 50% of the federal poverty levels for all families, launching Summer EBT “SUN Bucks”, the first new federal entitlement in a generation, sustaining California’s path-breaking school meals for all and anti-poverty tax credits.

“This may not be the year to create new programs and close loopholes in our safety net, which is disappointing given the high levels of child poverty across California,” said Shimica Gaskins, President & CEO of GRACE/End Child Poverty California. “But this is the year in which California can and must put our values to the test, prioritizing above all else the most vulnerable children and families. The budget released today would make deep cuts to the core safety net. We look forward to working with the Legislature and Governor to achieve a budget with no cuts to children and families experiencing poverty.”

There are significant proposed cuts to the safety net, including CalWORKs, foster youth, and immigrant services, as well as delays to food aid and child care.

Proposed Eliminations Include At Least:
• CalWORKs:
– $47.1M ongoing cut to the Home Visiting Program (45%)
– $126.6M permanent elimination of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services funding
– $272M one-time cut to the Single Allocation
– Including January proposed $1.2 billion double-cut to CalWORKs and the Safety Net Reserve, this is at least some $1.75 billion in cuts to CalWORKs
• $94.7M eliminating the In-Home Supportive Services undocumented expansion for all ages

Proposed Delays Include At Least:
• Implementation of Food for All for elderly undocumented seniors under the California Food Assistance Program is now scheduled to begin automation in 2026-27, with benefits set to start in 2027-28. This marks a 2-year delay from its original October 2025 date.
• Indefinitely halts and conditions on future revenues the promised expansion of over 200,000 child care slots, limiting the expansion to 119,000 slots.

2022 Trigger Investments not in the May Revise Include:
• Continuous Medi-Cal Coverage for Children Aged 0 through 4
• Child Support Pass-Through to Currently Assisted CalWORKs Families

We know that fiscally, cuts to the safety net are proven to backfire by pushing children into deeper poverty.

But it’s our job to understand what the numbers on the ledger mean. For families on the ground these programs are their lifeline, all that stands between homelessness, family separation, deportation, and irreparable harm to our children from toxic deep poverty.

We cannot repeat the failed austerity of the Great Recession, which proved that if safety net cuts are made, it will be years if not a decade to restore the hard-fought, effective policies we have today.

We know that the Governor and Legislature have shared values to lift children out of poverty. We will fight against these cuts and stand ready to provide solutions to prevent irreversible harm.

We support ongoing commitments made to our workforce, and underscore that increases to minimum wages are among the best tools for families to exit poverty and will protect some communities from some cuts proposed in this budget.

We also stand with the Governor, legislative leaders, mayors, county boards of supervisors and over 550 organizations in opposing the draconian California Business Round Table (CBRT) Taypayer Deception Act Ballot Proposal. If enacted, it will immediately and permanently worsen this problem while pushing many solutions out of reach.

Andrew Cheyne
GRACE & End Child Poverty CA
+ +1 651-246-4738
email us here
Visit us on social media:

GRACE & End Child Poverty California Respond to Governor’s May Revision Budget

Originally published at

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