The California State Legislature and Governor Newsom have agreed on a record-setting $310 billion budget deal, meeting the June 27 deadline and concluding lengthy negotiations on several contentious issues.
The budget continues spending on many areas bolstered in recent years by the state’s surplus but managed to refrain from dipping into the state’s reserves despite a projected $35 billion revenue shortfall. It also avoids increasing or creating new taxes on individual Californians and businesses.
The CCC has been actively advocating and championing many budget items affecting women, children, and families that ultimately became part of the final deal.
In education, the CCC is excited about the continuation of the universal meal program that provides free meals for all students, a new literacy screening program for students to identify disabilities, including dyslexia, and the funding for all school sites to maintain at least two doses of naloxone, the emergency drug used to reverse opioid overdose.
The new budget also clarifies that Foster Youth Tax Credit recipients cannot have their tax refunds intercepted for debt payments, something the CCC has actively supported. This will provide critical relief for low-income foster youth.
CCC joined coalitions to help the most vulnerable in the budget, resulting in $7 million annually in funding for services to survivors of human trafficking, ensuring family fees for subsidized childcare cannot be more than 1% of a family’s income, and raising the reimbursement rate for childcare providers to ensure they can stay open and serve California families
The final budget also includes roughly $380 million to reconstruct certain parts of San Quentin, which will revamp the prison into a Norwegian-style facility that focuses on job training and other programming to better prepare individuals for reentry in a way that reduces recidivism rates.
The budget includes $1 billion in grants to cities and counties to address homelessness and housing issues, one of Newsom’s cornerstone issues.
In one of the more controversial issues, the State’s $54 billion investment in climate programs last year was slashed by $6 billion in the Governor’s May Revision of the budget. Legislators and the Governor settled on $51.6 billion for climate programs, about 95% of what the Governor asked for earlier in the year.