SENATE DEMOCRATS passed a bold and responsible budget that pays down debt and builds healthy reserves while providing record funding for public education, investing in early childhood education and childcare, expanding access to health care, allocating new fundingfor affordable housing and homelessness, cutting taxes for working families by expanding the California Earned Income Tax Credit, addressing service needs for seniors, and reforming our criminal justice system. /p>
With a record $19.2 billion in reserves, California will continue on a path of fiscal responsibility. This budget builds a strong fiscal foundation that saves for the inevitable economic downturns ahead.
Housing prices are increasingly out of reach for Californians. This budget provides for cities and counties to accelerate the production of new housing and to support meeting their required housing goals.
This budget includes a new $2.4 billion investment to address California’s homelessness crisis. This funding will increase mental health support systems, provide emergency aid to local governments, and fund initiatives for homeless students at California campuses.
Safe and Affordable Drinking Water:
This budget allocates $130 million in ongoing funding to ensure communities throughout our state that suffer from groundwater pollution and a lack of municipal water supplies have safe and affordable drinking water.
Addressing California's Wildfires:
California is at growing risk of wildfires. The budget invests nearly $1 billion to bolster infrastructure and enhance our state’s capacity to respond to emergencies and protect our communities.
Earned Income Tax Credit Expansion:
The Cal-EITC program puts money back into the pockets of California’s working families. This budget invests an additional $600 million to expand Cal-EITC, increasing the number of people who participate from 2 million to 3 million, effectively cutting taxes for these workers by a total of $1 billion.
Fighting Climate Change:
With a $1.4 billion allocation of Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds, this budget continues to put California at the forefront of the fight against climate change, protecting our environment and our economy.
Expanding Access to Health Care:
This budget increases access to healthcare by lowering Covered California insurance costs for middle-class families, expanding Medi-Cal coverage to young adults, increasing services for seniors, and ending the “senior penalty” in Medi-Cal.
Investing in our Future:
This budget delivers the highest level of investments in history for education, including providing literacy and academic enrichment services, addressing California’s teacher shortage, and improving internet access in schools.
Childcare and Early Childhood Education:
This budget makes significant investments in the childcare and Early Childcare Education that working parents and parents looking for work depend on, including increased funding for childcare workers and 10,000 new preschool slots.
Expanding Access to Higher Education:
This budget invests over $100 million in CSU and UC to increase enrollment, improve graduation rates, and avoid tuition increases for California students. This budget also funds two years of free community college for full time, first-time students.
Services for Seniors:
This budget recognizes our commitment to California’s seniors by investing $113 million for vital services, including long-term care, research grants, and senior nutrition support.
Reducing Recidivism and Investing in Justice Reform:
This budget provides $50 million in ongoing funding to reduce recidivism by investing in rehabilitation programs, establishing therapeutic communities at Juvenile Justice facilities, and providing re-entry support for those who have been exonerated. Funding is also included for a parole preparation pilot project.
Census 2020 - Ensuring Every Californian is Counted:
If California is undercounted in the 2020 U.S. Census it will mean a loss of funding for badly needed programs and loss of representation in Congress. Because California has many hard-to-count communities, this budget invests an additional $87 billion to help ensure we get the most accurate count possible.