The California Budget & Policy Center, a nonpartisan, research and analysis nonprofit, released the following statement by Executive Director Chris Hoene following the release of Governor Newsom’s proposed 2023-24 state budget:
“In the good times and the bad, what Californians need to thrive doesn’t change. Stable income, affordable housing, and reliable child care. Families, children, and individuals need access to quality education, well-paying jobs, comprehensive health care, and a strong social safety net to fall back on when times get tough.
“While state revenues are down for the coming budget year, state leaders must remain committed to existing programs, and our state’s recent progress on essential services — like Medi-Cal expansion and affordable housing investments — must remain undeterred. Policymakers must also explore pathways to build upon these essential services and better meet the needs of millions of California families.
“As Californians continue to experience the rising costs of basic needs like food and housing, and Congress eliminates critical programs like emergency food assistance, our state’s leaders should invest in essential services to meet the needs of our communities. This is especially important for Black, Latinx, and other Californians of color, and Californians with low incomes who repeatedly bear the brunt of economic downturns, rising cost of living, and austerity policies.
“State leaders have the tools and resources, such as using a portion of reserves and diverting spending that supports the wealthy and corporations, to expand health care, affordable housing, child care, nutrition assistance, and educational opportunities for Californians.
“The Legislature and administration should reevaluate costly tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, like the governor’s proposed extension of the film tax credit, and instead, protect core services and make strategic investments in economic support to ensure Californians with low incomes are able to secure the resources they need to thrive.
“Budgets are about values, and the 2023-24 budget proposal begs the question: Are policymakers willing to use all available tools and improve the state’s tax system to invest in the millions of Californians left out of our state’s great wealth?”
Virtual Event: Join us on Thursday, January 19th at 11 a.m. as Budget Center policy experts break down what Governor Newsom’s budget proposal means for Californians facing rising costs of living. Registration is required.