State Assembly Crafts "Protect and Persist Budget" for California
(SACRAMENTO, CA) - Assemblymember Phil Ting, Chair of the Assembly Budget Committee, unveiled the State Assembly’s plan for the California budget leading up to Thursday’s vote in the Assembly Budget Committee.
The result of 77 public hearings since January, the Assembly’s plan is called the “Protect and Persist Budget.” It protects the progress of recent budgets that restored vital investments lost during the Great Recession while strengthening the state’s ability to withstand future economic downturns or adverse federal actions. Also, it persists onward with more responsible investments in Californians.
“We have one of the world’s largest economies because we invest in the safety and success of all our people. We need to press onward and help those who feel like they are being left behind,” said Ting. “Voters sent a clear message that they approve of the direction of the state. Our budget reflects their values and a plan for long term investment in the state’s prosperity.”
Highlights of the “Protect and Persist Budget” follow:
- Early Education: Increases child care slots by 2,710 and full-day preschool slots by 5,6,24 (2,624 above Governor Jerry Brown’s increase). Increases child care eligibility requirements, including establishing 12-month income eligibility for families.
- Prop 98 (K-14 Education Funding): Increases Prop 98 funding by $3.2 billion, for a record total of $74.6 billion.
- College Affordability: Rejects Governor Jerry Brown’s proposal to end Middle Class Scholarship and holds all lower and middle income CSU and UC students harmless from recent fee increases with dollar-for-dollar increases to Cal Grants and the Middle Class Scholarship.
- College Access: Adopts State Auditor recommendation to create a separate line item in the state budget for the UC Office of the President (UCOP) and appropriates funding to UCOP if campus assessment fee is eliminated. Also, redirects $50 million from UCOP to increase enrollment by 5,000, and provides $38 million to CSU to increase enrollment funding.
- Health Care:
- Implements Prop 56 to expand access to health care, dental care, family planning services, expanding coverage for young adults, and others. Restores Medi-Cal services, such as full dental care and eyeglasses.
- Transportation: Provides $2.8 billion from the recently approved SB 1, including $1.7 billion for local streets, roads, and transit, and $600 million for capital outlay.
- Flood Protection: Improves dam safety evaluations and requires development and review of emergency action plans and inundation maps.
- Affordable Housing: Rejects the Governor’s proposal to eliminate the $400 million set-aside in last year’s budget and allocates the funds to specific programs to improve housing affordability.
- Fighting Poverty:
- Earned Income Tax Credit: Increases support for the working poor by expanding the state’s EITC to the self-employed and to minimum wage earners. In addition, provides $2 million for outreach to ensure more eligible Californians get the tax relief they need.
- Human Services: Protects county funds to provide welfare to work services, establishes diaper assistance and home visiting for CalWORKs recipients, and restores cost of living increases for CalWORKs and SSI/SSP effective 2020-21.
- Government Reform:
- Board of Equalization: Builds on recent oversight efforts led by the Assembly Budget Committee to begin necessary BOE reforms.
- Courts: Increases funding for Dependency Counsel, Court Reporters, and Equal Access Fund.
Video download from today's press conference is available here: https://vimeo.com/218703197