On June 27, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed his first California state budget. The $214.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2019-2020 is the largest budget and creates the biggest reserve in the state’s history. This budget is designed for all Californians and addresses affordability and opportunity, justice and dignity, and effective governance practices
Strong Fiscal Foundation
The budget puts California in a good position to weather an economic downturn.
- $19.2 billion is set aside in total reserves with $16.5 billion for the Rainy Day Fund
The budget expands healthcare coverage and reduces health care cost:
- Expands Medi-Cal coverage to all income-eligible young adults up to age 26
- Provides Covered CA health insurance premiums to support low-income Californians and, for the first time, to those qualified individuals earning up to $72,000
- $30 million over three years with a federal match to fund community-based outreach and to enroll Medi-Cal eligible beneficiaries in health care coverage
- Funds to restore optical services, podiatry, help for incontinence issues, audiology and speech therapy
With the demand for affordable housing reaching an all-time high and the ever-increasing homelessness epidemic across the state, the Governor has taken a bold stand to combat these issues:
- $1.75 billion in the production and planning of new housing
- The Governor threatens to sue local jurisdictions that fail to meet the housing demands in their cities
- $20 million to assist renters in being able to fight back against landlord price gouging by providing renters with legal assistance for counseling, renter education programs, and other resources
- Homeless emergency aid for local governments for emergency housing vouchers, rapid re-housing programs and construction of emergency shelters
- Expansion of Whole Person Care services to provide mental health services for the homeless
Other Key Investments
Other investments are made to support families, early and higher education, emergency preparedness, safe drinking water, and criminal justice:
- Expansion of paid family leave from six to eight weeks for each parent or caretaker of a newborn child
- $125 million for new preschool slots, putting the state on the path to provide universal preschool
- Funding for two years of free community college tuition for first-time, full-time students
- $1 billion investment in emergency preparedness for wildfire prevention efforts and an earthquake warning system to name a few of the efforts
- $130 million to clean up the drinking water in some parts of the state
- A commitment to move the youth correctional facilities from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to a new department under the Health and Human Services Agency to provide young offenders with the resources and the support needed for reentry
When the budget was first proposed Community Health Councils launched a the #Goldenbudget Social Media Campaing to engage residents, service providers and other advocates across the state about the budget, the process, and ways to advocate for the budget. Based on the conversations we had, we are confident that they would agree to congratulating the Governor and the legislator on passing a great budget.
However, there is still more to do and Community Health Councils will continue the fight in ensuring that all have access to quality, affordable, and equitable healthcare.
For a more comprehensive overview of what was signed in the budget, check out Governor Newsom’s Press Release here or visit here:.