Here are some responses to Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed budget:
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles:
“Governor Brown’s proposed budget espouses a clear-eyed focus in maintaining California’s fiscal stability and I will continue being a partner in this endeavor. We can do this without having to overlook critical investments that steer the future of the state and lift our most vulnerable citizens. This budget reflects historic investments in our children’s education that will make a tremendous difference. But we still have to take a closer look at strengthening our healthcare system for the poor and developmentally disabled that has been starved for far too long. I look forward to negotiating the details in the coming months with the Governor and Assembly and creatively leveraging revenue to have the largest positive impact possible on the daily lives of all Californians.”
Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, D-San Diego:
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“California’s budget today is balanced, and it’s in the best position in decades to withstand a future economic downturn. That’s an important reminder of the phenomenal job legislative Democrats, the Governor, and the voters have done in turning the state’s finances around.
The Governor has put us at a good starting point for discussion with this budget, with investments in education, courts, and public safety, including funding for more communities to tackle racial profiling. One of those most critical needs we must address—which Assembly Democrats actually supported in the last budget—is a 10% increase for providers of services for developmentally disabled Californians. The fastest way to make that happen is through the MCO tax, and there has been progress on that issue. But should that optimal approach not happen, we will still find another way.
The Assembly’s goal throughout the upcoming budget process is to have California remain the premier example of how you can successfully keep one eye on the pocketbook and one eye on the future. Our last few budgets have proven we can be fiscally responsible and still meet the needs and honor the values of the people of California. This budget will fill that bill as well.”
State Controller Betty Yee:
“As the state’s chief fiscal officer, I applaud Governor Brown for taking into account the inevitability of an economic downturn. Our continued reliance on a highly volatile source of revenue means that recessions will hit hard, which is why we need comprehensive reform of our tax system. Like the Governor, I believe that we must restrain new spending and bolster the state’s rainy-day fund. The Governor is taking a prudent approach to our long-term liabilities, such as retiree health care, and I also think it’s reasonable to set aside $300 million for increased compensation to offset employees’ retiree health care contributions.”
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson:
“This is a good news budget for our students, teachers, parents, communities and businesses. The Governor is continuing to devote more revenues to high-quality learning that prepares children for 21st century careers and college, including an additional investment of $300 million in career technical education that emphasizes hands on learning.
“The ongoing economic recovery in California will increase the Proposition 98 budget guarantee for schools up to $71.6 billion, a dramatic improvement from the $47.3 billion budget share in the depths of the recession five years ago.
“I look forward to the discussion about Early Learning, which the Governor’s budget identifies as a top priority. Details matter. We need to keep working together to provide high-quality instruction for our youngest learners, especially at-risk children in low-income communities.
“Schools are making great progress with the extra resources from Proposition 98 and Proposition 30, which voters approved three years ago. Schools are reducing class sizes, adding programs in the arts and many other subjects, and continuing to upgrade teaching of math, science and English. We need to make sure these extra revenues keep flowing so schools can continue their momentum. The future looks bright for our kids.”
Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield:
“Governor Brown’s record-setting budget proposal proves that California doesn’t have a revenue problem, and our state’s priorities can be funded without extending or raising taxes. Budgets are about priorities and we can’t go on a spending spree. The backbone of California’s economic engine, agriculture and reliable energy, is suffering. Furthermore, we can’t take our roads and water delivery system for granted and must address these fundamental needs that are in distress. We are committed to caring for Californian’s most vulnerable people, and keeping our communities safe.”
Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes, R-Yucca Valley:
“While additional money is good news, we must not spend it as if it will reappear every year. We’ve made this mistake before. Democrats should pay attention to the Legislative Analyst and Governor Brown’s warnings about overspending, and balance the need to invest in critical infrastructure projects to improve our roads, schools and dams with one-time money. These investments will benefit us for generations. Additionally, we must pay attention to those left behind by an economic recovery that has largely benefitted the wealthy. Assembly Republicans will be focused on restoring California’s middle class and providing opportunities for those trapped in the cycle of poverty. This starts by making sure that such programs are effective and run efficiently. It’s time to invest in people and infrastructure to build a stronger California.”
Allan Zaremberg, CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce:
“The California Chamber of Commerce applauds California Governor Jerry Brown’s leadership and vision in proposing the 2016-2017 State Budget. We are pleased that the Governor underscored his commitment to long-term budget stability and protecting the state’s solvency. His call for budget restraint should comfort Californians from the threat of new taxes. In addition, we are pleased that the Governor has found a way to avoid a reduction in federal Medi-Cal matching funds without adding costs to health plans that would have increased premiums to responsible California employers. Although we need to review the final language, we should all be supportive of an approach that addresses a funding shortfall that doesn’t add to employer health care costs. Finally, we are heartened that the Governor highlighted the critical need to address maintenance of California’s transportation infrastructure.”
Assemblymember Das Williams, chair of theAsian & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus:
“We applaud Governor Brown’s commitment in addressing climate change by investing in SB 350. His actions will have a positive impact in the quality of life for our state, nation, and world. We only have to look at how climate change exacerbates weather phenomenon, such as Typhoon Haiyan, to see how more needs to be done to stabilize the climate is areas such as the Pacific Rim, where many of our Asian & Pacific Islander American (APIA) communities have family ties.
“The API Legislative Caucus believes it is urgent to see more investment in our higher education segments, particularly to increase enrollment for in-state students, and a plan for restoration of Medi-Cal funding. The issues of education, health, and housing are major concerns for California’s Asian & Pacific Islander American community, and our Caucus will continue to actively engage Governor Brown and the leadership of the California State Legislature on policies that would significantly address the many needs of this diverse and growing community.”
Charles Bacchi. President & CEO, California Association of Health Plans:
“We appreciate the Administration’s commitment to identifying new options for an MCO tax that is responsive to our goals of protecting affordability for employers and individuals, and finding a solution that’s equitable among the health plans. Filling the $1.1 billion hole in the Medi-Cal budget remains a priority for health plans and we are analyzing and crunching the numbers on the latest proposal. California’s health plans are very pleased that the Coordinated Care Initiative, which brings together many pieces of our health care system to improve the quality of life for patients, will continue. Integrating long-term health care services, in-home services and community-based care options not only helps patients, but is a platform for long term payment and system delivery reform for integrated care and savings to the state. Health plans are committed to making this program successful by improving care and lowering costs. An incredible amount of work has been done and it will continue, and we believe this program deserves a long-term commitment from the state.”
Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access:
NO NEW CUTS, BUT GOVERNOR’S BUDGET LARGELY CONTINUES RECESSION-ERA CUTS TO HEALTH
▪ Budget prevents health cuts with extended and revamped managed care organization (MCO) tax swap, continuing federal funding stream with virtually no impact on health plan premiums. MCO tax still needs to be resolved in special session in January.
▪ Many years after the recession, budget largely continues recession-era cuts to health and human services, without needed restorations to public health programs, Medi-Cal health benefits, and Medicaid provider reimbursement rates, or other health investments by the state.
▪ With significant budget surplus, advocates will urge California to continue its progress under the ACA, to improve care for the projected 13.5 million Californians with Medi-Cal coverage, and to extend coverage to the remaining uninsured. Key restorations and investments will be debated in the budget process this year, and may also involve voters this November, who will decide on revenues by extending upper-income taxes and raising the tobacco tax.
▪ Health policy debate will continue in budget hearings and on bills to cover California’s remaining uninsured regardless of immigration status (SB 10 by Sen. Lara), and to limit Medi-Cal estate recovery (SB 33 by Sen. Hernandez), which discourages patients from enrollment and potentially risking losing family home.
▪ Community advocates with the HHS Network will respond tomorrow in press conferences throughout the state, in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, and Riverside.
Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, chair, Budget Committee:
“I am happy to say we continue to see improvement in the state’s fiscal health. That’s a testament to the collaborative efforts of Democrats in both houses of the Legislature, the public and the Governor. I agree overall with the Governor’s vision of ensuring the state’s continued fiscal stability through changes in the business cycle. I am also heartened in the proposed investment in K-12, higher education and funding for the courts.
However, as can be expected, there is room to improve, especially on addressing some of the outstanding critical issues facing the state’s most vulnerable populations, including how we compensate care providers for developmentally disabled Californians and addressing the counterproductive restrictions in the CalWORKs Maximum Family Grant. I believe we can be optimistic about seeing some progress on these issues this year.”
Sen. Jim Nielsen, R-Gerber, vice chair, Budget Committee:
“The Governor should be applauded for proposing a prudent budget. With over $5 billion in surplus money, there is no need for new or extended taxes. We can continue to pay down the state’s debt, increase the state’s savings account for a rainy day fund and existing programs that help California’s most vulnerable, particularly services for people with developmental disabilities.”
Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez, R-Lake Elsinore, vice chair, Budget Committee:
“I am pleased the Governor continues to demonstrate moderate fiscal restraint in his 2016-17 spending plan, especially compared to his Democratic colleagues in the legislature. However, I remain concerned with the direction of some of his proposed spending priorities. Continued economic growth and new jobs for middle and low-income Californians depends on good roads, improved water infrastructure designed to handle future droughts, well-funded classrooms built to meet the needs of today’s workforce, and paying off unemployment insurance debt that is crippling employers. As we progress through this budget process, I will continue to advocate for responsible budgeting that reflects the core interests of California’s working class families.”
California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye:
“We welcome the governor’s proposed budget for the judicial branch as it would provide $146.3 million in crucial new funding for our courts. Much of the new funding would be focused on innovations to benefit court users at all levels of our court system. The proposed budget reflects a steady but cautious new investment in the judicial branch since fiscal year 2012–2013. The budget contains “proposals to support efforts by the Judicial Council to improve court operations and increase access.
“In addition to supporting local as well as branchwide innovations, the Governor’s budget would provide funding for statewide infrastructure needs, language access expansion in civil proceedings, and funding to assist trial courts facing increased workload related to sentencing reforms.
“The Governor’s proposed budget would help make courts more accessible, efficient, and equitable for court users. The Judicial Council looks forward to working with the Administration and Legislature as we seek to address state budget issues affecting access to justice for the people of California.”
Dr. Steve Larson, president, California Medical Association:
“We are pleased to see the Governor is committed to working with the legislature and health plans to find a solution to the MCO tax. Without that, a gaping hole would exist in the state’s Medicaid (Medi-Cal) fund that would have devastating impacts on patients across the state. Ensuring that Medi-Cal is better funded is a priority of CMA, and as sponsors of the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016, we will be focused on passing the ballot measure both to help save lives and fund health care programs in California. With over one third of the state’s population relying on Medi-Cal for health care coverage, it’s essential that access to care is a reality for those patients and not just an empty promise with an insurance card.”
Eric Heins, president, California Teachers Association:
“Educators are encouraged to see the Governor use his proposed state budget and revenues generated by Proposition 30 to continue paying back schools from the years of devastating cuts—especially those serving our most at-risk students.
“Using historical economic patterns to create a five-year projection, the Governor’s budget recognizes we must be mindful about our investments and maintain and support those programs that are most important to the citizens of our state.
“It’s been nearly four years since voters passed Prop. 30 to pay back schools and colleges the $50 billion lost during the recession. And while we are beginning to see Prop. 30 funds restore art, music and PE programs, reduce class sizes, hire more counselors and nurses, prioritize student learning over testing, and make it easier to attend a California college, an Education Week Quality Counts Report released today ranks California 46th in the nation in per pupil funding.
“We are moving in the right direction now, but with Prop. 30 set to sunset this year, it’s critical that we continue our investment in all California students by extending Prop. 30, which temporarily continues income tax rates on the wealthiest in our state. Otherwise, beginning in 2019, we could create a $5 billion sinkhole in annual funding for schools and colleges. That’s $5 billion less each year for lowering class sizes, providing a well-rounded education, supporting teacher development, and keeping libraries open.”
Mark Sheahan, president, Professional Engineers in California Government:
“It has been nearly a quarter century since funding for transportation in California was increased. The purchasing power of those dollars has declined dramatically. PECG appreciates the Governor’s continuing support for addressing this infrastructure crisis in a meaningful way. It is important to keep in mind that when taxpayers are asked to dig deep into their pockets to increase their financial support for transportation infrastructure or any other government program, they should have confidence that their money is being spent wisely. Currently, some transportation contracts are awarded without competitive bidding, wasting over $100 million per year. One current legislative proposal would double that outsourcing and double the waste. In providing long-overdue additional funding for transportation, PECG would urge the Governor and the Legislature to ensure that wasteful no bid contracts are eliminated. The taxpayers’ money should be dedicated to essential construction projects, not excessive corporate profits.”
Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals:
“State Revenues have hit a new record high, yet some in the legislature are still looking to continue tax increases. Now is not the time to look at continuing tax increases, which Californians were told would be temporary with the passage of Proposition 30. Now is the time to be responsible and fund our core responsibilities: transportation, education, and water infrastructure. One of the best ways to invest in California’s future is by building water storage. The voter approved Proposition 1 water bond includes $2.7 billion for new storage. We should make building these projects a budget priority, so that we have a stable water supply for the future.”
Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco
“As California’s economy continues to improve, state revenues follow, which is good news especially for K-14 education spending. Governor Brown has introduced another reasonable budget that prepares for the uncertainty ahead and reflects his cautiously optimistic outlook for California. While I appreciate the Governor’s continued conservative approach reflected in his budget, we must discuss the needs of Californians still impacted by the deep cuts of the recession. There are a number of interesting ideas presented, including the proposed revision of the MCO tax, which looks very promising and would additionally benefit developmentally disabled services. I am eager to work collaboratively with the Governor and my colleagues in the Legislature to fully analyze this budget proposal and deliver an on-time, balanced fiscal plan that sensibly reflects our state’s needs.”
Matt Cate, executive director, California State Association of Counties:
“The Governor’s budget proposal recognizes that while revenue is up, there are still economic uncertainties and being prudent with the resources we have now is the key to long-term stability. In the long run, stable funding remains essential to successfully develop and deliver the important programs and services we provide, including health care, behavioral health, public safety, transportation and more.”
James Mayer, president and CEO of California Forward:
“Governor Brown’s proposed budget reflects a continued prudent and fiscally responsible approach that will help secure the state’s economic stability.
“We congratulate the Governor for making it a priority to invest $200 million to implement the recommendations of the Chancellor's Workforce Task Force and to incentivize regional collaboration among community colleges and with civic and business organizations to align programs with needed job skills.
“Through the California Economic Summit, CA Fwd has worked to steer state resources toward programs that improve the workforce pipeline to prepare one million more middle-skill workers over the next ten years.
“Affordable housing and housing for homeless are already under active consideration in the Legislature, while the governor did not specifically call out housing in the budget we believe that the issue will be addressed this year. Housing is a top priority of the California Economic Summit given that the state has an acute affordable housing shortage. CA Fwd will continue working to build awareness and develop ideas on how to address the need for one million more housing units for low- and middle-income Californians in the next decade.
“CA Fwd was a strong supporter of the Proposition 2 Rainy Day Fund – advocating for the measure and campaigning for its passage – and we are proud to see it is working as intended. With this budget the state could have an $8 billion budget reserve by the end of 2017, leaving us better positioned to pay down debt and face the next inevitable economic downturn, while protecting our most vulnerable populations.”
Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City:
I applaud the Governor on showing budgetary restraint by using conservative revenue estimates. I also share his concerns about the harmful economic consequences of proposals which would increase the minimum wage even further. An optimistic budget outlook is not a signal to increase spending on new programs that would worsen deficits in future economic downturns. I also concur with the Governor on restoring some spending for infrastructure and services for the developmentally disabled, which have long been neglected. However, this is not enough. California faces billions of dollars in deferred maintenance needs for our transportation infrastructure, water storage, and school facilities. We should also focus on restoring cuts to existing programs such as services for the developmentally disabled and Medi-Cal reimbursement rates. These items must be prioritized in the state budget instead of being pawned to special sessions meant to increase taxes on Californians, and bonds that tie the hands of future generations. Instead of investing in policies like the high speed rail and cap and trade which drive businesses out of California, we should prioritize crucial infrastructure needs, education, and addressing unfunded liabilities that are draining our general fund. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to enact pro-jobs reforms and investments that help grow the economy and get people working.”
Assemblyman Rocky Chavez, R-Oceanside:
“I appreciate the Governor for showing fiscal restraint with his anticipation of a future recession, as well as finally putting Prop 30 funds where they were originally intended: K-12, higher education and workforce training spending. While revenues look promising, we must stay cautious with spending and be vigilant with paying down debt so we can avoid the hardships of years past.
“I agree with the Governor’s challenge to the UC Regents to address their pension concerns. College affordability is a major issue for many in this State and addressing this problem is an important step in alleviating the issue.
“My areas of concern are the stagnant funding sources for adult education, as well as the absence of clarity for the California Department of Veteran Affairs’ budget and lack of support for our Veterans in the State.
“I will continue to work with the Governor and the Legislature to make sure we stay true to the trend of fiscal restraint; prioritize spending for schools, infrastructure, Veterans and attacking our unfunded liabilities and wall of debt.”
Patty Velez, president, California Association of Professional Scientists:
“It’s reassuring to see that once again Californians are on track to enjoy a budget surplus, according to Governor Brown’s draft budget released Thursday. While it’s great to see the state with such a positive fiscal outlook, there was something missing from the Governor’s budget proposal: a plan to address salary inequity among state scientists. The Governor, once again, has decided not to fund closure of a 30-40% salary gap between scientists who protect our public health and our natural resources and their engineering counterparts as well as scientists at other public agencies. It’s time for the Governor to make scientists whole and we strongly urge him to include salary equity in this year’s budget.”
Sen. Mike McGuire, D-Healdsburg:
“For too long, despite being the 7th largest economy in the world, California schools have been near or at the bottom in public education funding in America. We have made great strides over the past year, thanks to the commitment of the Governor and legislature, with the largest investment of funds in our public schools in over a decade. Today’s proposal takes those commitments even further and I am grateful that we can work together to expand our commitment in strong public schools and making college more affordable in the Golden State.”
Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale:
“While Governor Brown took an incremental step forward to help preserve the Lanterman Act and California’s promise to take care of individuals with developmental disabilities, it is short of what is needed to make the system sustainable,” said Assemblyman Lackey. “I am somewhat disappointed that California is not making this a higher priority. The funds that go to these programs ensure that people can live independent lives and should be included in this budget and every one thereafter. We are not going to give up on this fight.”
Timothy White, chancellor, California State University:
“The governor’s budget proposal affirms his commitment to invest in the California State University and acknowledges the university’s vital role as an economic driver and the state’s largest producer of bachelor’s degrees. An investment in the CSU serves the public good by enabling the university to provide quality degree programs and social mobility to the students of California who are among the most ethnically and economically diverse in the nation. The university’s four- and six-year graduation rates are at a 10-year high, and they will continue to improve as we remain laser focused on increasing graduation rates by 2025. Our investments in new faculty, practices that highly impact student success and increasing online education opportunities are paying off. With continued state support, we remain on track to bolster graduation rates and to graduate an additional 100,000 students over the next decade. An investment in the university is an investment in the future of California.”
Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Riverbank:
“I applaud the Governor’s call for continued budget restraint, as well as his $2 billion deposit into the State’s Rainy Day fund. But we cannot ignore the fact that this budget is still over $6 billion higher than last year, for a record $122.6 billion in spending. That will require careful and thorough evaluation and deliberation to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used responsibly and efficiently.
“I am pleased to see continued increases in school spending per student, but history and data shows that funding alone will not improve student outcomes. Our students deserve better. We have to be willing to pass meaningful reforms to improve the quality of education in our state. I call on Governor Brown and my Democratic colleagues to work with me toward true reform measures that will help our students, teachers, and economy.”
Joseph N. Sanberg, chair of CalEITC4Me:
“Governor Brown’s ongoing support for a state earned income tax credit is good for families, communities, and our economy. The credit not only benefits the individuals and families who are eligible, it puts hundreds of millions of dollars into local economies across California. The boost in income provided by the credit means our state’s lowest-paid workers have more to put toward necessities like rent, child care, food for young children, and transportation to work. It’s a tremendous opportunity to improve the lives of over 600,000 hard-working Californians and their families.”
Sen. Andy Vidak, R-Hanford:
▪ Funding Developmental Disability Services: With budget surpluses projected to be in the billions, funding developmental disability services should be a top priority of this year's budget.
▪ High-Speed Rail: Cap and Trade dollars should NOT be used to fund High-Speed Rail - it is a gross polluter that will destroy farms, homes, businesses and families. Those funds should instead be used to invest in current transportation infrastructure to create jobs, and improve statewide and regional transportation needs, such as improvements to Highways 99, 41 and Interstate 5.
▪ Dangers of Realignment: Continuing to fund the early release of criminals is endangering our communities and is certainly NOT saving the taxpayers the dollars promised. The program needs to be scrapped and prisoners need to be returned to state prison.
▪ No Tax Hikes Needed: With budget coffers overflowing with excess funds from the Prop. 30 - the tax hike of 2012 - there is absolutely no need to raise taxes for health care and/or transportation.
▪ Transportation Inspector General Needed: This budget should fund a Transportation Inspector General to investigate Caltrans and the High-Speed Rail Authority and then report back to the Legislature any instances of fraud, waste and abuse. This could save the state billions of taxpayer dollars, as has been the case in many other states.
Sen. Connie Leyva, D-Chino:
“I am pleased that Governor Brown has again released a prudent budget proposal that is forward-looking and continues to strengthen California's economic development for communities throughout the Inland Empire and California. This budget plan addresses California's short and long term fiscal needs, while also ensuring that we invest in California residents, communities and businesses.”
“I firmly believe that California's budget must directly respond to the critical needs of individuals and families that struggle daily to put a roof over their head and food on the table. An important part of helping families thrive is making sure that we continue to support and improve public education. The Governor's budget proposal increases school spending per student to over $10,000 annually, a sharp increase from just a few years ago when California was in the midst of the devastating recession. This budget plan also continues to support Career Technical Education programs with $300 million in grant funding as outlined in the budget agreement that I worked on with the Governor last year. As costs continue to rise at colleges and universities around the country, UC and CSU students will benefit from flat tuition costs for another yea. This commitment will allow students across the state from all economic and social backgrounds to pursue their American dream through higher education.”
“Today's budget also proposes $36 billion of much needed transportation funding over the next decade to help maintain California's highways and roads-which are critical to Inland Empire residents-and grow our public transit infrastructure and other transportation corridors. I am also pleased that this budget proposal continues the Governor's commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in California by supporting clean transportation and other similar efforts, as well as helping disadvantaged communities which oftentimes suffer the brunt of climate impacts and pollution.”
“In the weeks and months ahead, I look forward to working with Governor Brown and his Administration-as well my legislative colleagues-to again pass an on-time balanced budget by the June 15th constitutional deadline that helps to improve the lives of all Californians.”
Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus:
“The Legislative Women’s Caucus remains committed to ensuring all families have access to safe, reliable and quality early care and education so parents can work and children can learn. I appreciate that the Governor has proposed funding for early care and education programs in his proposed budget that exceeds what he proposed last year – but it is still not sufficient to meet the needs of California’s workforce and our children in their critical early learning years. As the budget moves forward in the process, the Legislative Women’s Caucus remains committed to pursuing additional funding for state child care programs, so we can ensure that our youngest learners have a foundation for academic success and parents can continuing working toward a stronger economic future for themselves, their children, and our state.”
Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, vice chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus:
“This year, the Legislative Women’s Caucus will continue to prioritize a strong early care and education system for California that benefits our workforce and our youngest learners. When parents cannot find or afford child care, the economy loses out on valued workers. Parents risk piecing together care that does not meet a child’s needs, or being forced out of the job market. Children, our future workforce, miss opportunities to learn. A significant investment in early education that starts at birth isn't simply an investment in children, it is an investment in families and an investment in our future workforce.”
Board of Equalization Vice Chair George Runner:
“I'm pleased that the Governor continues to take a cautious approach to the budget. While California's economy improves, it makes sense to strengthen our rainy day fund. During this time of additional revenue, the Governor should also be commended for keeping his promise to voters to end temporary tax increases on schedule. However, I'm concerned that the boost in revenue will cause many lawmakers to clamor for more spending. The last thing we need to do right now is mirror past mistakes that led to prior budget crises. I think now, more than ever, lawmakers should focus on improving quality of life for taxpayers by prioritizing jobs, roads and education without raising taxes.”
Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside:
“The Governor's budget proposal includes important funding increases for UC, CSU and California's community colleges. This represents crucial funding for California's public higher education segments. I am also pleased to see the plan includes a proposal to hold tuition and fees at current levels. More needs to be done, however, in order to ensure high-quality education and increase access at our public colleges and universities. We have a responsibility to provide protection and relief for those California students who were not served by California's public colleges and were defrauded by unlawful for-profit colleges. Helping California students, such as those who attended Corinthian Colleges, revoke their student loan debt and obtain Cal Grants to continue their education is beneficial for these students and to the future of our economy. The January budget is merely the initial framework for a longer, much needed discussion. I look forward to working with the Governor and my colleagues to continue to prioritize higher education.”
Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-Greenbrae:
“The Governor’s proposed budget has the right focus on education, health care and climate change. Increased spending must be measured and reflect the state’s priorities, including taking care of our most vulnerable and paying down the wall of debt built during the great recession.”
Sen. Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres:
“With the increased revenues that our state government is realizing, I am pleased that Governor Brown remains committed to bolstering our reserves, rebuilding our transportation system, and increasing funding to education. With a budget that is $6 billion larger than last year, we must remain prudent in using our new funds to invest in California and prepare for our next economic downturn. It would be easy to spend this revenue on new programs that require ongoing spending, but we could find ourselves facing deficits when the economy inevitably slows again.
“I was disappointed that we were unable to reach a transportation funding package last year and am glad to see the Governor is keeping it a priority. Additional funding for transportation is an investment that will benefit all Californians. We cannot continue to delay the rebuilding of our transportation infrastructure.”
Jennifer Eagan, president, California Faculty Association:
“We are pleased that Gov. Brown continues to reinvest in public higher education by including an increase in his state budget proposal for the California State University.
While we appreciate this investment, we also know that in order to meet the needs of thousands of California students clamoring to enroll in the CSU, even more resources will be needed.
CFA intends to work closely with our allies in the legislature and with the governor not only to increase the resources invested in the CSU, but also to ensure that tuition and tax dollars are spent on the university’s core mission—teaching—rather than on increasing the size and salaries of the university’s administration.”
Sen. Pat Bates, R-Laguna Niguel:
“The Governor should be commended for heeding Republican priorities to protect educational opportunities for students, further pay down debt and build the Rainy Day Fund. We must continue to do these things to ensure that California has a bright future.
“While his budget includes a proposal to improve our state’s bad roads, we must do more to reform government and streamline existing transportation spending to provide the long-term funding that our roads need. Californians should not be burdened with unfair tax increases and fees to pay for years of inaction. It appears the Governor’s transportation proposal is basically the same proposal that failed last year. There is much work to be done to create a bipartisan consensus that can become law this year.”
Board of Equalization Member Fiona Ma:
“The Governor’s budget proposal is a continuation of the balanced approach he and the Legislature have taken over the last several budget years: a bedrock commitment to fiscal responsibility as well as prudent investments that help our economy grow, like the California Earned Income Tax Credit for working families.
As the budget process begins in earnest, I urge members of the Legislature and the Governor work together to put forward an alternative to the current approach to fuel taxes and transportation funding. The way SBOE currently sets the fuel tax rate requires us to forecast what gas prices will be a full 18 months into the future. Our roads and highways need a better approach than best-guessing where a volatile market will be that far in the future, and local governments across the state with urgent transportation needs should have a more stable and reliable approach to transportation funding.
I also want to commend the governor for his forward thinking approach in calling for $1.5 billion in investments to renovate and modernize state office building. This is an issue that affects SBOE directly, and the Governor is right to note that a small investment now will save from much costlier emergency repairs and upgrades later, as the ongoing costs of emergency repairs at SBOE Headquarters have repeatedly shown.”
Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell, D-Long Beach:
“The Governor’s proposal offers an excellent foundation for the Legislature to once again deliver a budget that balances fiscal prudence with thoughtful investments in California’s future. This includes increasing the state’s Rainy Day Fund to $8 billion while paying down our debts and liabilities. The proposal also provides $2.8 billion in new funding for K-12 education, representing a boost of nearly $3,600 in per-pupil spending over 2011-12 levels. These increases are possible as a direct result of the measured budgeting policies in recent years that emphasize the need to live within our means.
As a father, teacher, and Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, I firmly believe our state’s first commitment must be to our children. Restoring California’s reputation as a global leader in education will ensure our workforce remains competitive as today’s students grow to be tomorrow’s business leaders, opinion makers, and technological innovators.
I look forward to working with my colleagues to craft a responsible budget that reflects our shared priorities to safeguard against the boom-and-bust of past cycles and foster economic progress for generations to come.”
Sen. John Moorlach, R-Costa Mesa:
“Every California family knows that our state is a very expensive one in which to live. That includes our state government, which has the nation’s highest income and sales taxes, and now the highest gas taxes when adding the new cap and trade taxes.
“With $7 billion in revenues above last year’s budget, we can’t ask these families to pay even more in higher gas taxes. That will be a major difference between Senate Republicans and the Governor.
“I appreciate the Governor’s concern for our fiscal future, particularly if the economy takes a downturn. That’s why we must take care of our priorities with current revenues, and that includes a well maintained infrastructure that will accommodate commerce and job growth.”
Kevin Sabo, president, University of California Student Association:
“Continued reinvestment in California’s public education is slow but necessary. While in the recent past the UC and State struggled to prioritize funds to support the system and recover from the recession, this year we see a true partnership from both stakeholders to keep tuition flat. However, the Legislature should break away from writing the University blank checks without guaranteeing specific investments in solving the UC’s ongoing problems. Year after year, both the State and the UC fail to address one key issue that leaves the lives of thousands of students balanced on the edge of crisis: food and housing security.
It is a problem neither the State nor University created, but is one they must partner to solve. Affordability measures beyond the cost of tuition are critical. The UC Student Association has collected hundreds of stories from students living in unsafe, abusive, and substandard housing, unable to pay for food because of the high cost of a UC education. In many areas with UC campuses, housing is impacted and price-gouged. Students have nowhere to live, so they are forced to choose homelessness. Campus dining refuses to take food stamps, so they are forced to choose hunger.
The time is now for public leadership to address UC’s housing and food crisis. This budget will support the new enrollment of thousands of additional UC students. But the ones here already are struggling to survive. Will Governor Brown and UC President Janet Napolitano allow them to come out of the shadows by acknowledging that the cost of attending UC is more out of reach than ever before? Will they build new much-needed housing and provide aid to cover costs outside of the tuition checks collected by the UC Regents? This is my challenge to them both after reviewing this budget.”
Bruce Presser, president, American Council of Engineering Companies:
“We appreciate the Governor laying a framework that begins to address our state's critical infrastructure needs and recognize it is just the beginning. California will be well served by his continued support of infrastructure investment that will improve the daily lives of hardworking Californians and enhance and preserve the environment and public health. Engineering and land surveying firms in California stand ready and willing to work with the Legislature and the Governor’s administration to place a renewed focus on the shortfalls in transportation investment.”
Fix Our Roads Coalition:
“We want to thank the Governor for his continued leadership and commitment to addressing our massive transportation needs at both the state and local level. The Governor’s budget proposal represents a solid baseline for ramping up discussions toward a hopeful solution in the coming weeks. We also commend the work the transportation conference committee members and others have done to date to continue to make fixing our roads a priority.
“There is zero doubt we need to pass a package of bills now that provide sustained transportation funding, along with accountability reforms to ensure we’re making the most of transportation dollars. Lack of funding is taking a significant toll. Our freeways, county roads and city streets continue to deteriorate, while vitally needed maintenance projects remain stalled. The California Transportation Commission, counties, and cities are delaying start dates – in some cases indefinitely – for projects already approved.
“Last August our coalition laid out a set of policy principles we believe should guide the negotiations. First and foremost, we need a long term funding package to address the billions of dollars of backlogged transportation needs on both the state and local systems. Our policy principles also couple any new revenues with needed accountability provisions to ensure new transportation dollars go to transportation projects only.
“Over and over nationwide studies rank California’s state highways, streets and roads at the top of the list of Worst Roads in America. California motorists are today spending an average of $762 annually just to fix repairs caused by poor road conditions.
“Our coalition pledges to work with the Governor and legislators of both parties to promote a responsible package we can all be proud of. We can no longer afford to kick the proverbial can down the pothole-filled road.”
Bill Magavern, policy director of the Coalition for Clean Air:
“Our communities have already suffered with excessive levels of pollution for far too long. The governor and legislature should show a sense of urgency in sending climate dollars to meet critical needs in those communities.”
Alvaro Sanchez, environmental equity director, Greenlining Institute:
“While there are positive aspects to this budget, parts of it take us in the wrong direction. It’s time to move more aggressively to invest in disadvantaged communities, bringing clean air and good jobs to neighborhoods hit first and worst by pollution and climate change, and to strengthen the guarantee that those communities will truly benefit from our climate policies.”
Parin Shah, senior strategist at the Asian Pacific Environmental Network:
“Both the urgency of addressing climate change and the needs of California’s low-income, immigrant voting populous require that meaningful investments are made today. The governor's budget needs to prioritize delivering more renewable energy, greater access to public transportation, as well as energy efficient apartments, especially in the neighborhoods that have endured fossil fuel pollution for decades.”
Assemblywoman Ling-Ling Chang, R-Diamond Bar:
“Revenues to the state are up at historic rates so it’s imperative we set aside rainy-day funds, as we know El Nino sized economic storms will hit budget revenues again. I also appreciate that the governor continues to focus on tackling the state’s liabilities. However, I think we need to really think about our spending priorities in a more thoughtful way. We can prioritize existing funds for critical issues like transportation infrastructure. My community is tired of sitting in traffic every day on roads that are in disrepair – and they don’t want to pay more out of their pockets to fix it. I look forward to working with the governor as well as my legislative colleagues on how we can best improve our roads and fund other critical programs like Medi-Cal.”
Sen. Ted Gaines, R-El Dorado Hills:
“Governor Brown sounds all the right notes about fiscal discipline and debt reduction, but has proposed the largest ever state spending plan and wants to raise taxes on managed health care plans and transportation. The Legislative Analyst's Office has forecasted a higher-than-expected increase in revenues for 2016-17 in the billions. How can we justify taking more money out of the pocketbooks of hardworking Californians when we have a budget surplus?
I know the legislature will be tempted to sink every dollar of revenue into new and ongoing spending programs, but we can't ignore the lessons of the past decade. It is wise to heed the LAO's warning against making 'new commitments' or else we risk difficult choices ahead.
We should be dedicating our healthy annual revenue to paying down debt and liabilities, increasing the rainy day fund, addressing neglected infrastructure, supporting students, and keeping our streets and neighborhoods safe.”
Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco:
“California needs a budget that broadens opportunity while responsibly saving for the future. We are making great progress. Our rainy day fund is growing and unprecedented investments in education are positioning our kids for better success in life. We must fulfill the promise of an affordable college degree for all students who work hard. It is encouraging to see the Governor accelerate vital education reforms for high needs students and to extend them to early childhood education so that more of our kids can fulfill their potential. Enduring challenges surround funding for healthcare, upgrading our infrastructure, and fighting climate change. With a range of potential tax initiatives coming to the ballot this fall, elected leaders cannot simply sit on the sidelines like spectators. We must do the job we were elected to perform and, by coming together, we can leave California better off than we found it.”
Sen. Bob Huff, R-Diamond Bar:
“It’s not a terrible plan and contains elements that I like and some things that I don’t agree with. I do support the Governor’s plan to add more money than necessary to the state’s Rainy Day Fund because it’s always a prudent move to plan for the next economic downturn. I’m also pleased that the Governor has largely resisted the urge to increase spending on many social programs or create new programs that demand ongoing funding. These are the priorities shared by Senate Republicans.”
“At the same time, I don’t think it’s wise or prudent to start taxing the health care plans of all Californians or increase taxes or fees to pay for California’s crumbling transportation infrastructure. Many Senate Republicans agree with the Governor that more investment is needed in our roads, bridges and highways. But with the State of California now flush with cash, I think the wisest choice is to adopt a pay as you go formula and use existing resources to pay for the upgrades we really need.”
Sen. Jeff Stone, R-Temecula:
“It appears the Governor has proposed a budget that reflects the tenuous nature of our economy, and it is encouraging that he has proposed an additional $2 billion to go towards the Proposition 2 Rainy Day Fund.
“While the Governor has sent a signal to entrenched Sacramento special interests that there is not a blank check for government expansion, a door was left open for higher taxes - along with a questionable proposal with regard to the existing Managed Care Organization Tax. I'm hopeful that Legislative Democrats will heed the Governor's prudence and not fall into the temptation of adopting new programs and increasing government budgets.
“As the Legislature has an opportunity to go through the Governor's proposed budget, I look forward to joining my colleagues in adopting a final spending plan that reigns in spending, protects public safety, helps pay for needed infrastructure improvements, increases funding within existing revenues for the developmentally disabled community, and avoids any attempt to raise taxes.”
Sen. Sharon Runner, R-Lancaster:
“Overall, I respect Governor Brown’s commitment to continue investing in California’s rainy day fund while avoiding additional permanent spending.
“However, I am disappointed Governor Brown’s budget fails to adequately deal with the significant issue of California’s crumbling transportation infrastructure and plays a shell game with the cost of healthcare. Instead of addressing these problems, Governor Brown is leaving it to the Legislature to raise taxes. California’s taxpayers are already overburdened; additional taxes are not an acceptable solution.
“I will only support budget policies that promote fiscal responsibility; we need to allocate existing resources to essentials like fixing our transportation infrastructure and increasing water storage. I look forward to working with my colleagues on a budget that moves California in the right direction.”
Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont:
“California has seen an amazing turnaround since emerging out of the Great Recession. By making tough choices and confronting our big challenges, we have strengthened our finances and built up our reserves. The Governor’s budget continues this trend and makes crucial investments in key programs.
“The hard choices we made during the recession and our improving economy now provide us the opportunity to broaden the number of Californians who can benefit from this prosperity. As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I know the state must take a greater role in funding legal aid to improve equal access to our judicial system and the fair administration of justice. These services help low-income families escape domestic violence, avoid homelessness and resolve many other problems that threaten the health and safety of families and children. A 2013 report found there are nearly 10,000 legal-aid-eligible Californians for every one legal aid attorney. This serious lack of funding makes serving those in need extremely difficult and creates a structure where the financial resources of a party are more likely than the merits of an issue to determine an outcome.
“The Governor said today’s budget proposal represents his first cut at the 2016-2017 process. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration on legal aid and other issues to make sure all Californians benefit from our improved economy.”
Diana Zuñiga, Californians United for a Responsible Budget:
“This budget is a joke. For decades advocates have pushed for long-term solutions to prison overcrowding and the closure of Norco. The Governor is showing his commitment to slowly refurbishing a facility known for it’s horrendous living conditions by giving $6 million towards repairing Norco. After years of making positive strides towards meeting the court order to reduce the prison population, it is infuriating that this budget says nothing about bringing our loved ones home through sustainable sentencing and parole reform.”
Lily Fahsi-Haskell, co-director of Critical Resistance:
“Across the country people are discussing strategies to reduce imprisonment, yet this budget prioritizes locking more people into cages by wasting $250 million on further jail construction, showing the Governor and the State's blatant disregard for the wellbeing of California's residents. It is past time our State budget prioritize social services, education, health and housing, not imprisonment.”
John Jones, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights:
“The extremely low level of savings predicted by the governor is a disgrace to communities who critically need reinvestment in education and mental health services," said "Proposition 47 resulted in thousands more people being released from prison than initially anticipated, which means that savings should actually be higher than predicted.”
Ray Pearl, executive director of the California Housing Consortium:
“Last year, Governor Brown vetoed AB 35, a bill to provide tax credits to build much-needed affordable housing for working families in California, saying tax credits should be taken up during budget discussions. But when the Governor was asked about housing at this morning’s press conference, he said the budget ‘is not a candy store.’”
“Investing in housing for our state’s working families is not “candy.” It is essential to the health, education and economic potential of our state. If working people can’t afford to live here, the amenities and inclusive spirit that make California so desirable could start to disappear. If we cannot address this vital issue during a time of surplus, we ensure future surpluses will disappear.
“State investment in affordable housing has plummeted – primarily due to the elimination of redevelopment agencies in Brown’s first term, and the expiration of state bonds that leveraged federal dollars and drew billions in job-creating private investment to the state.
“Senate leader Kevin de León recognized the urgency of this situation when he proposed $2 billion this week to house the homeless. Both houses of the legislature have called for significant, immediate investment to jumpstart building affordable homes and leverage federal money we’re currently leaving on the table. The California Housing Consortium looks forward to working with Gov. Brown and lawmakers to ensure the budget reflects the significant impact affordable housing has on the economy.”
Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte:
“I am glad to see a focus on fiscal stability and bolstering the Rainy Day Fund. I am also very pleased to see some relief for the communities impacted by wildfires. There is a lot more to be done to protect our forests and the communities near them, but this is a start. I remain disappointed that the governor prefers additional taxes to repair roads and bridges, rather than prioritizing more of our general fund dollars on that task. Maintaining a solid and safe transportation infrastructure should be more of a priority.”
Sen. Mike Morrell, R-Rancho Cucamonga:
“What we have from the governor is another budget that grows government at record levels with taxpayer money while ignoring many of the real challenges facing our state. He and his Democrat colleagues continue to call for higher taxes, increasing the cost of gas and health care for California families, yet they refuse to use existing money to appropriately fund priorities like services for the developmentally disabled and our roads and highways. This is not an effective or efficient use of taxpayer dollars.”
Sen. Janet Nguyen, R-Garden Grove:
“I am very pleased to see the Governor continue to save for a rainy day. This will help avoid cuts in the next recession. However, I respectfully disagree with the Governor's assertion that we need a tax increase to take care of the most vulnerable in our state. Since the Governor has been in office, the General Fund has grown by $34.1 billion, a close to 40% increase. That should be sufficient to adequately fund vital services to the developmentally disabled and improve access to health services for low income Californians.”
Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno:
“This budget proposes a new $65 road tax, another $10 tax on car registration and a new 11 cent increase on fuel used by truck drivers. This raises the cost of everything we buy. We live in a state with the highest gas taxes in the nation but only have potholes and cracked roads to show for it.”
“Governor Brown said today that the state budget isn’t a “candy store” where you pick out whatever you want, but that’s exactly what he’s done. $500 million to subsidize electric cars and trucks, $100 million to get people to bike to work and $15 million to study low carbon fuels. Seems like the Governor’s candy store is open for business.”
Rob Lapsley, president, California Business Roundtable:
“This year’s proposed budget highlights Governor Brown’s vision and legacy of fiscal responsibility for all Californians. His commitment to education while paying off debt and increasing investment in the Rainy Day Fund helps position California’s economy for continued growth.
“The governor’s budget also recognizes the need to invest in infrastructure through his update of the five year infrastructure plan. His proposal of $36 billion for roads and transit is an important first step and the Business Roundtable and its members look forward to working with the governor and legislative leaders on comprehensive bi-partisan infrastructure solutions to keep California’s families and economy moving.”
“The Roundtable also would like to recognize the Governor and the Department of Finance for their continued commitment to releasing the Five-Year Infrastructure Plan. As the sponsor of the California Infrastructure Planning Act, authored by then-Assemblyman Hertzberg, we believe maintaining a workable plan for key infrastructure investments is vitally important to planning for California's infrastructure needs.”
Carmela Castellano-Garcia, President and CEO, California Primary Care Association:
“California’s community health centers appreciate Governor Brown and the Managed Care Organizations resolving the looming budget crisis by coming to terms on the MCO tax. We look forward to working with the Governor and the legislature to finalize this deal so the Medi-Cal program has the funding certainty it requires for continued improvement and growth.
“This budget provides California a solid foundation from which we can strengthen our efforts to deliver on the promise of health for all Californians. While we have made great progress in recent years, millions of Californians remain uninsured, the primary care provider shortage continues to grow, and the need for mental health services has reached the point of crisis.”
“The Education Trust–West is thrilled that California’s strong economy continues to benefit students in our public schools. We thank Governor Brown for once again proposing a big investment in the Local Control Funding Formula, accelerating implementation of a formula designed to provide more to those with the greatest needs.
While we appreciate the Governor noting that the proposed $1.2 billion in one-time discretionary funding for schools can be used to implement new content standards, this approach doesn’t ensure that these dollars make it to teachers and students for this purpose. This funding will be counted as repayment for unfunded mandates and the funds may be used for any purpose.
We urge the Governor to reconsider and hope that the final budget approved by the Legislature includes funds dedicated solely to implementing California’s new content standards to be certain that all students have fully prepared teachers and adequate materials. An allocation in this year’s budget is particularly crucial for ensuring the establishment and expansion of professional learning opportunities as identified in the timetable for implementation of Next Generation Science Standards. This dedicated funding will avoid widening opportunity and achievement gaps and help to ensure all students reap the benefits of our new college and career ready standards. We stand ready to assist in making this happen.”
Assemblyman Mark Stone, D-Carmel:
“With this proposed budget, Governor Brown has highlighted the necessity to improve outcomes for youth in foster care. As the author of 2015 legislation that comprehensively reforms the foster care placement system (AB 403), I applaud the inclusion of new funds for foster family recruitment and targeted training, expanded services to youth, and additional oversight of facilities and individuals serving youth. I am excited to work with my colleagues in the legislature to ensure that the new reforms best protect and help youth in foster care.
“As Chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee, I’m relieved to see access to justice given prioritization in this budget with a nearly $150 million increase to the state’s court system, which includes improvements to language services, building upgrades, and assistance to help trial courts facing increased workloads.
“I’m also pleased to see $380 million dedicated once again to the new state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which will help working families in deep poverty. As the author of 2015 legislation that would have extended the state EITC to low- and middle-income working families, I look forward to working with legislative leadership and the Governor during the budget negotiation process to ensure that we help as many vulnerable Californians as possible.”
“We commend Governor Brown for continuing a strong legacy of ensuring California’s students and education system have the resources they need and rightfully deserve. By increasing funding for our schools, Governor Brown is once again demonstrating that an investment in our students is an investment in the future of our state.
“Students Matter recognizes that our public schools need more resources, and this proposed budget is a step in the right direction. But there is much more that can be done to ensure all of our students, regardless of zip code or socioeconomic background, truly have access to a quality public education.
“While the Governor’s proposed budget is commendable and should be applauded, it’s critical to note that funding alone won’t address the challenges faced by our students and our education system. As the overwhelming evidence presented in Vergara v. California demonstrated, teacher quality is the most important in-school factor affecting student success — not per-pupil spending or other fiscal measures. That’s why we are eager to continue our legal challenge to California’s outdated and quality-blind education policies — policies ruled unconstitutional by the California Superior Court because they systematically harm students by trapping them in classrooms with ineffective teachers. We look forward to presenting our arguments before the California Court of Appeal and obtaining a precedential victory on behalf of California’s six million public school students.”
Sen. Joel Anderson, R-Alpine:
“At first glance, this budget does not keep our promise to the developmentally disabled community and I will continue to fight for their full services and funding to be put back in the budget. The Governor continues to tie Medi-Cal rate increases, developmentally disabled vendor rate increases, and In Home Supportive Services rate restoration to a new proposed MCO tax. It’s a shame that this Governor continues to use our most vulnerable and unfortunate citizens as pawns in a political chess game to further raise taxes here in California.”
Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, executive director of Restore the Delta:
“Governor Brown promised Californians that no money from Proposition 1 would be used for the Delta tunnels. Now the Governor's budget is calling for $3.6 million for the Delta Stewardship Council to include the tunnels into the Delta Plan from these same bond funds that have been put into the General Fund. He has broken his promise to taxpayers.
“Governor Brown wants to waste more taxpayer money to prop up a hugely controversial project that was supposed to be paid for by the water exporters. It's time for the madness to end. Let’s redirect available funding to projects that will make California water more resilient to climate change and extended droughts. Water recycling, urban water conservation, groundwater recharging, and storm water capture are all projects that are desperately needed, as we see by the massive flooding in Southern California today. The tunnels fail to address those opportunities. The Delta Tunnels are a 20th Century fix to a 21st Century problem.”
Teresa Casazza, president, California Taxpayers Association:
“Once again, the governor has taken the responsible step not to introduce or support massive spending increases that would all but guarantee draconian budget cuts and potential tax increases during the next economic downturn. His budget also demonstrates that California has adequate revenue for state programs and that no new or higher taxes are needed.
“However, not all is rosy. The proposal to spend more than $3 billion in cap-and-trade funds, while the issue of how the money was raised and can be spent is still being litigated, raises concerns and may create future budget problems. The program was enacted as a hidden 'fee' and not a tax, which would have required a two-thirds vote of the Legislature or a public vote.
“Last year, politicians and special interests proposed more than $140 billion in new and higher taxes. This year, voters may face billions in new and higher taxes at the ballot box, including a higher tobacco tax, an extension of the temporary taxes in Prop. 30 and efforts to undermine Prop. 13 by increasing residential and commercial property taxes. These taxes, and others that inevitably will be introduced in the Legislature, are unnecessary, and would create irresponsible spending habits that would be unsustainable when the economy slows again.
“We applaud the governor's continued efforts to stabilize our budget process, and oppose ongoing efforts by special interests to undermine responsible budgeting by proposing billions in new and higher taxes.”
Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Kids Action:
“We are glad to see that the continued economic recovery once again allows the California state budget to make noteworthy investments in our children and schools. We are intrigued by the Administration’s Early Education Block Grant proposal and look forward to the promised stakeholder conversations to come. As the Right Start Commission will address in its upcoming report, California needs to move towards an integrated system that is easier for parents to navigate, streamlines delivery, and improves quality. We are encouraged that the Governor’s proposal appears to be consistent with this approach and look forward to hearing more details.”
Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco:
“I applaud the Governor’s balanced and prudent approach to the budget. This plan sets aside dollars for critical health care funding and increases in funding for education, yet also allows for a $2 billion allocation to the rainy day fund and pays down debt which is important given the volatility and unpredictability of our tax system” said Mullin. “However, the Governor needs to get real about addressing the crisis of housing affordability, and in the post-redevelopment world the state must provide funding options, flexibility and economic development tools to local governments to address this need. Moving forward, we need to give serious consideration to a funding package that further addresses this critical lack of workforce housing as well as our inadequate transportation infrastructure. While the proposed budget allocates funding in each of these areas, there is still work to be done.
In my role as Speaker pro Tem, a member of the Budget Committee and appointee to our special session’s Transportation Conference Committee, I will continue to work with our leadership team and my Bay Area colleagues to craft bi-partisan approaches that address these important issues and include expanded and ongoing funding sources, such as Cap and Trade funds. We must work to keep California’s economy moving, yet ensure that opportunity and prosperity can be shared by all segments of society.
The Governor’s January budget is a solid first step in the budget process. I look forward to working with my Assembly and Senate colleagues in the coming months to build on the Governor’s proposal and craft a sustainable budget that works for California now and in future years.”
Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento:
“I am pleased with the Governor’s proposed budget blue print which reflects a growing economy and rightly invests in education from K-12, community colleges, and higher education. Also, I welcome the state’s continued investment of Cap and Trade funds to reduce greenhouse emissions, particularly to develop infrastructure for waste diversion. This framework is a good starting point for the Legislature to engage the administration and I look forward to working with the Governor on these issues and others however, I’d like to see more investments in increasing access to early learning and higher education.”
Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda:
“California’s recent budgets have successfully moved our state from the depths of recession, giving the Legislature and Governor a fiscally sound foundation from which to lift up California's children, working families, and those in deep poverty. The investments made by the Governor’s proposal in early childhood education are laudable, but insufficient given the well-documented life-changing impact of preschool on children from low-income communities. As housing costs continue to skyrocket, working families and those on fixed incomes are being forced out of their homes and neighborhoods and require greater support. And our poorest Californians who rely on Medi-Cal for their health, as well as other critical safety net programs, continue to struggle with access to the services they need to survive. We can and we must do more. I look forward to additional discussion with the Governor and working with my colleagues in the Assembly and the Senate to craft a final budget that lifts up all in California.”
Assemblyman Don Wagner, R-Irvine:
“While I am pleased with the rising state revenues in California, and thank the taxpayers for their hard work and forced generosity, I remain concerned with the Governor’s spending priorities. The majority party must be careful about spending ever more money as if the current revenue will continue for years to come. It is imperative that these additional revenues be spent on California’s failing infrastructure. We should invest in water storage, school facilities, and our transportation and energy infrastructures. One-time investments such as those will help California for generations and provide much needed jobs to our struggling, taxpaying, middle class. But just spending this additional revenue on state-sponsored programs continues to ignore our long standing problems, misses an historic opportunity for visionary solutions, and leads us right back down the path to fiscal irresponsibility.”
Doug Moore, president of UDW/AFSCME Local 3930:
“We appreciate that the Governor’s budget sets the intention of reversing cuts to IHSS and developmental services; however, people with disabilities, seniors, and caregivers are tired of being held hostage as Sacramento bickers about passing renewed taxes. We do need additional, long-term revenues, but using vulnerable Californians’ health and welfare as a bargaining chip is simply not acceptable.”
Laphonza Butler, president of SEIU California:
“For years, seniors and people with disabilities have borne the brunt of our fiscal crises. Now, we unquestionably have the resources, and we have bipartisan support for providing care to those who need it. It’s long past time to live up to the promise of dignity for all, regardless of age or ability. That includes all of the people who rely on IHSS and developmental services.”
Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council:
“California is enjoying an El Nino of economic resurgence that is filling state coffers. Gov. Brown has presented a budget that reflects that largesse while also recognizing the likelihood of a downturn in the very near future. We applaud the Governor’s continuing vigilance in controlling spending and focusing investments in areas critical to sustaining our nation-leading economic growth, including transportation and higher education. There is more work to be done to make sure we are investing in the foundational areas of our economy, including rebuilding and improving our beleaguered and badly underfunded transportation system. California also still relies heavily on volatile income taxes, for which the Bay Area contributes a disproportionately high level compared with other regions of the state. We look forward to working with the Governor, his administration and the Legislature in the coming weeks and months to ensure California’s spending is focused on those areas that will help sustain healthy, balanced and long-term economic growth. That includes continuing our work with groups like The Fix Our Roads Coalition to secure the funding California so badly needs to repair our roads and highways.”
Elizabeth Landsberg, director of policy advocacy, Western Center on Law and Poverty:
“The budget continues putting more money in reserves for a possible future fiscal crisis instead of addressing the real crisis poor Californians experience every day. Though California has the highest level of supplemental poverty Governor Brown’s proposed budget includes little new to assist low-income state residents. The Governor does include the first increase in SSI/SSP grant levels since 2006 which is an important first step. However, his budget would delay the increase to 2017 and even with the increase low-income poor and disabled residents will still be living below the federal poverty level in our high cost state.”
Jane Close Conoley, president of California State University, Long Beach:
“Now that we have achieved some stability and as budget negotiations unfold I’m hopeful that members of the State Legislature will seize this opportunity to invest more heavily in our state’s public universities. The time is upon us to renew California’s promise that every individual seeking higher learning has an opportunity to achieve a college degree. The many encounters I have with the residents of Long Beach and nearby Orange County lead me to conclude Southern Californians, rich and poor, are fully aware that a college degree is no longer the luxury of a few; it’s a transformative necessity for all.
In fact, the number one concern I hear from alumni and others is that our current level of state funding requires that we turn away thousands of qualified students. For the recently concluded 2016 fall application period, CSULB received more applications from first-time freshman and transfer students than any other California State University campus. Demand continues to greatly outpace the university’s ability to serve those students as CSULB receives funding to admit approximately 9,000 new students each fall.
Additional funding for public higher education will lead to greater access for students, and allows us to provide the services they need to achieve their educational goals. Studies show that over the course of their lives, individuals with a bachelor’s degree will earn nearly $1 million more than those with a high school diploma. Through higher education people can better themselves and their families and contribute to the common good by becoming the police officers, nurses, farmers, mayors, scientists, engineers and business CEOs who serve California’s urban, suburban and rural communities.”
Anthony Thigpenn, president, California Calls:
“While the budget may be in “good shape” according to the Governor, Californians are still suffering the impacts of recession era budget cuts. California’s recovery from the great recession has been uneven across the state with nearly 1 in 6 Californians living in poverty in 2014. The Governor’s proposed budget once again fails to restore deep cuts to human services. It is time for California to focus on long-term solutions for reducing poverty by reinvesting in programs that provide a safety net to families in need including increasing monthly grants to Cal-WORKS, repealing the Maximum Family Grant policy, increasing cash assistance for SSI/SSP, and helping make college education more affordable for middle class and low income families.”
“We applaud the $182 million in new funding to expand Medi-Cal eligibility to all low-income children regardless of immigration status. This investment will benefit the lives of approximately 170,000 children and their families and continue California’s legacy as a leader in quality and affordable healthcare access.”
“One thing we can agree on with the Governor is that making one time investments in critical programs is not enough. That’s why California Calls has joined the growing Make It Fair movement – a coalition of over 22 community, faith-based, civil rights and labor organizations committed to closing corporate property tax loopholes while protecting homeowners, renters and small businesses.”
Assemblyman Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park:
“Today, we have a multi-billion dollar budget thanks to a strengthening economy and pragmatic fiscal policy. We must continue this prudent long-term fiscal policy and focus our spending on paying down our debt, creating a ‘rainy day’ savings account, and investing in economic growth – which includes investing in education.”
“In my five years in office, I’ve seen a remarkable economic turn-around. When the voters first sent me to Sacramento in 2010, California was confronted with a $27 billion deficit. In my first year in the legislature we cut $12.5 billion from the state budget and established a set of fiscal controls. A year later, Californians approved temporary tax increases and our economy began to rebound. We must keep this context in mind when addressing the 2016-17 budget.”
“We should be proud of how our strong, Silicon Valley innovation economy has contributed to the state of California. At the same time, it is important to understand that California’s economic rebound is regional, and that our neighbors in the Central Valley still have high unemployment and great social need.”
“As the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Waste Reduction and Recycling in 21st Century California, and the author of multiple measures on recycling, I was encouraged to see the Governor provide additional investment to promote recycling and composting in our state. In particular, the governor’s focus on reducing short-lived climate pollutants (like methane) which are more potent than carbon dioxide, is worthy of investment and broadens our portfolio of activities to clean up the environment.”
“As Chair of the Assembly’s Select Committee on Water Consumption and Alternative Sources, I was pleased to see the governor’s proposed investments to reduce water consumption while improving energy efficiency. I’d also like to see investments in research and development toward consuming and producing water more efficiently. In the past, the state invested in innovation in renewable energy. I’d like to see the state create incentives to unleash Silicon Valley innovation on water efficiency.”
Assemblyman Jim Cooper, D-Elk Grove:
“I am encouraged by the Governor’s plan to reduce our debt and continue to build our rainy day fund. The proposal to make a supplemental deposit of two billion dollars into the state’s rainy day fund will allow us to be better prepared for any unforeseen economic downturn and will help stabilize our fiscal future.
While our economy is improving, many families are still struggling to get by. We need to continue to invest in our economy and create jobs.
The Governor’s transportation package is a good start. We cannot sit idly by when California’s roads continue to deteriorate and are ranked among the worst in the nation. We need to pass a comprehensive transportation package to address California’s dilapidated roads.
Addressing California’s transportation needs, modernizing our state’s water infrastructure, and investing in education will create jobs and will lead to a more robust economy.
Education continues to be one of my top priorities and I applaud the Governor’s proposed $3,600 per student funding increase. All students, no matter their socioeconomic status or their school district, deserve the best chance for a successful life and access to high quality education.
Additionally, I plan on continuing to work with my colleagues to prudently examine restoring cuts to vital social services for our most vulnerable, at-risk populations.”
Jeanie Ward-Waller, policy director for the California Bicycle Coalition:
“The proposed budget would invest $16.2 billion in transportation dollars for programs that focus primarily on repaving and expanding roads versus moving people and advancing equity – even proposing to use money designated to fight climate change to do so.”
Chanell Fletcher, senior California policy manager for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership:
“If we want to tackle climate change and address the safety and mobility need for all Californians, including low-income disadvantaged residents who lack access to a personal vehicle, we must invest in clean, and affordable transportation choices–such as bicycle paths, continuous sidewalks, safe crossings, and robust transit service –that reduce driving, congestion, and air pollution; improve public health; and advance social equity.”
Sen. Steve Glazer, D-Orinda:
“I appreciate the Governor’s careful stewardship of California’s finances in his proposed budget. In particular, I applaud him for setting aside money into the rainy day fund for future economic downturns. The Governor continues to offer critical support for our public schools by providing billions more for K-12 education. I also support his call for a tuition freeze for CSU and UC and for advancing our efforts to improve our four-year college graduation rates. These actions will reduce costs for students and their parents and improve students’ success.”
Mark Biddlecomb, Western region director of operations, Ducks Unlimited:
“Today’s budget is a recognition of state and voter approved priorities for conservation and wetlands in California. We are pleased to see the Governor propose $90M of voter approved monies from Proposition 1 State Obligations Funding to help implement the state share of the Central Valley Project Improvement Act. This landmark 1992 agreement between the federal and state governments is the backbone of support for California’s 19 refuges and wildlife areas.
Despite significant progress over the past several decades, more work is needed to complete the necessary infrastructure for water delivery to these critical habitat areas. These dollars can also be utilized to supplement additional water deliveries for conservation purposes, to support water recycling projects for additional environmental benefits, and to implement innovative solutions that benefit ag, urban, and conservation purposes alike.
We are also pleased that the Governor continues to fund wetlands enhancement and restoration as part of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, proposing $60M for these purposes to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Wetlands serve to filter pollutants and improve water quality, in addition to providing carbon sequestration benefits. Natural landscapes offer some of the best carbon sink opportunities in California, and we look forward to working with the Governor and his administration in meeting these goals.”
Alberto Retana, President & CEO, Community Coalition in South Los Angeles:
“Governor Brown’s allocation of 29.3 million dollars for crime prevention and treatment services is an affront to the millions of California voters who passed Prop. 47 in favor of criminal justice reform and increase public safety. Sixty percent of California voters sent a powerful message that many drug and other minor convictions are health problems not crimes. We were promised at least $150 million dollars per year to implement this key reform, but now the Governor has reduced it to an absolutely inadequate $29 million.”
Tonia McMillian, co-chair, Raising California Together:
“Today’s budget proposal continues to send the wrong message to bright young minds who will shape our future: rather than aiming high to fight poverty and close the achievement gap, this budget provides no new access to quality child care for needy children. It offers no path for thousands of dedicated, inspiring, early educators to lift their families out of poverty and denies access to millions of parents who need early education and care to go to work. In a nutshell, this budget proposal includes no new money for early education and care and still does not restore the billions that were cut in previous budgets.
“California must do better than to allow the next generation to be divided into ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ before they even start kindergarten. Parents and early educators throughout California are standing together to demand California aim higher.
“Study after study shows that teacher pay and working conditions are directly linked with the quality of child care programs, so if we are really serious about providing the best early education and care possible, then we can’t continue to ignore our workforce. Unfortunately, the budget released today does nothing to increase poverty-level wages that early educators earn across settings.
“2016 is the year we will lay the groundwork for a strong early education system by ensuring that early educators earn at least $15 an hour, working families have access to affordable, flexible and quality early education and care, and affordable training options that will bring professional skills are provided to thousands of early educators across the state.
“I invite Governor Brown to work with the Raising California Together coalition to create a California where every child has access to the early learning and care that positions them for academic success and a strong future, where every parent who needs access to go to work can access it, and where everyone who works hard is paid enough to care for their own family.”
Jessie Ryan, executive vice president of the Campaign for College Opportunity:
“We applaud Governor Brown for proposing more money for California colleges and universities with the expectation that they maintain affordability, significantly improve student success, and close persistent gaps by race and ethnicity. Reinvestment in higher education, holding our colleges and universities accountable for expanding access, and ensuring more students graduate is good news for California. What we need now is a bold, visionary statewide plan for higher education that can guide investment and align our colleges and universities around goals over time. Students and our state deserve a sustainable vision for success that goes beyond the limitations of the annual budget process.”
Faculty Association of California Community Colleges:
“FACCC is grateful to Governor Brown for his continued support of the California Community College system but disappointed in the lack of funding for such priorities as full-time faculty hiring and support for part-time faculty categoricals. The academic infrastructure must be the top priority in these budget discussions to achieve student success. We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature throughout the budget process to maximize opportunities for our students.”
Assemblyman Matt Dababneh, D-Los Angeles:
“I commend the Governor for proposing a state budget which addresses some of California’s most pressing issues such as, increased funding for education, paying down our debts, investments in transportation infrastructure, and increasing savings which will go towards the Rainy Day Fund.
As students pursue higher education, access and affordability become increasingly important. I applaud the Governor for proposing increased investments in higher education, while also helping students reduce the amount of time it takes to obtain a degree, thus reducing their debt burden. Additionally, tuition will not be increased; instead it is kept flat at 2011-12 levels.
This proposal also demonstrates fiscal responsibility which pays down state debts and liabilities, while also adding $2 billion into the state’s Rainy Day Fund. Investments to this fund will help the state in the event of a future economic slowdown.
The Governor’s budget proposal released this morning is a starting point for the state’s fiscal priorities and investments. I look forward to working with the Governor, Assembly and Senate leadership, and my colleagues throughout the upcoming budget process.”
Assemblyman Eduardo Garcia, D-Coachella:
“I am pleased to see that the Governor‘s budget makes significant strides to reduce poverty, restore funding for schools and early childhood education, improve our higher education funding, and in the end build reserves in order to invest in future transportation infrastructure efforts throughout our great state, I look forward to working with the Governor and tackling these important and complex issues.”
▪ On Salton Sea: “I am pleased to see that $80 million has been designated to Salton Sea Restoration. This money is a good first start and will fund the initial short-term projects designed for dust suppression and expanding habitat. Going forward, we will work closely with Gov. Brown to identify funding for the medium and long-term projects that further address the ongoing public health and ecological issues facing the Sea.”
▪ On Education: “Supporting early childhood education is key to fostering long term student success. Historically funding for pre-kindergarten education has derived from a multiple of sources. The Early Education Block Grant would consolidate resources to enhance services that in-turn will target our most disadvantaged children.”
▪ On Developmental Services: “I am glad that the Governor’s budget is addressing part of the struggle that the developmentally disabled community has been handling over the past few years. During the Special Session on Health and Human Services, the legislature heard a strong message from the developmentally disabled community and this increase to the budget is something both Democrats and Republicans can join together on. For 2016-2017 the Budget includes a net increase of $394 million and includes $80 million specifically for targeted investments in the developmental service system. This $80 million will be used in order to help align provider rates closer to where they were prior to the recession.”
▪ On Housing: “Given the limited supply of housing available in the state and its impact in increasing the cost of housing, dollars invested in helping people attain safe and affordable housing are greatly needed to increase supply which in effect will help decrease costs. Last year I worked on two bills aimed at addressing the housing needs of the state. One bill would have effectively increased tax credits for farmworker housing projects to $25 million from $5 million, and the other proposed changes to the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program by requiring 20% of funds in the program to be allocated to rural communities in the state. Although access to safe and affordable housing will continue to be a challenge in our state, I am glad the Governor is taking modest measures to help families attain a home.”
▪ On Economic Outlook: “Given that we are now in our seventh year of the state's economic expansion, it is vital that state policies and programs be reviewed to assess how they contribute to reducing the state's current economic disparities. Key elements of the Governor's proposed budget will help the state to make further investments toward poverty alleviation, career technical education, and infrastructure repair and development.”
Assemblyman Jim Wood, D-Healdsburg:
“I agree with Governor Brown, we need to be prepared for the next economic downturn and I think we are doing a good job of making sure we have the resources to do that. However this is another budget that does nothing for those with developmental disabilities, we must find a long term funding source for this vulnerable community. I am also excited to see that this budget would allocate $7.6 million to the Department of Fish and Wildlife and $5.7 million to the State Water Resources Control Board in order to develop the Watershed Enforcement Team created by AB243. This Team will ensure that as the cannabis industry grows our forests and streams are protected.”
Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento:
“The governor’s budget proposal reflects sound budgeting choices California has made in recent years, and I appreciate the Governor’s fiscal prudence in eliminating debt and building budget reserves in preparation for future economic downturns. I am pleased that there will be more money for schools to educate our children.
I appreciate the Governor’s leadership on a resolution to the managed care organization (MCO) tax and funding for Medi-Cal expansion that is covering millions of Californians and undocumented children, but with 13.5 million Californians estimated to be on Medi-Cal by mid-2017, we still must address the unsolved problem of access to care due to severely low Medi-Cal provider payments and assure quality care for children and adults with special needs. We cannot afford to ignore millions of people who are unable to receive necessary care on Medi-Cal.
After years of neglect, I applaud the Governor for proposing $1.5 billion to make much-needed improvements to state offices in Sacramento. In addition, I applaud the Governor’s historic leadership on climate change, and in the budget the State of California should demonstrate leadership by making investments to shrink the carbon footprint of the state government and state workers where they work and live.”
Chris Hoene, executive director, California Budget & Policy Center:
“The Governor's proposed budget represents a missed opportunity to use the state's strong revenues to boost key public investments that help individuals and families advance, such as child care and preschool, welfare-to-work services, affordable housing, and higher education.
“While it's important to have a strong budget reserve, preparing our state for the ups and downs of the economy must also involve making necessary investments in greater opportunity and economic security right now. By being weighted so heavily toward building up reserves, this budget would continue to lock key public services and systems in at diminished, recession-era levels.
“There are things to like in the Governor's proposed budget, such as continuing support for the new state Earned Income Tax Credit, revising the managed-care organization tax so as to preserve this critical source of revenue, and finally calling for a state cost-of-living adjustment in SSI/SSP grants for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. But as lawmakers work toward a final spending plan between now and June, they should aim for a budgeting approach that is less about fiscal scenarios and more about creating an economic future that benefits all Californians.”
Ann Notthoff, director of California advocacy, Natural Resources Defense Council:
“Governor Brown announced his 2016-17 proposed State Budget this morning. Overall, NRDC welcomes these growing investments in public health and environmental protection. From protecting consumers from unwarranted antibiotic use in food to curbing illegal ivory sales, restoring the San Joaquin River, expanding the international coalition committed to combatting climate change, managing sea level rise with better coastal planning and more, there are many targeted investments that represent real progress.
While we are still analyzing budget details, we do want to highlight the need for the Governor and Legislature to move quickly to get California's climate investments out the door to combat climate change and speed the transition to clean energy in our communities. Billions in the fund remain unspent from this fiscal year, and the Governor's budget proposes for the money to be rolled over into next year's budget. The Legislature and Governor should not delay funding for projects that benefit the communities who need it most - low-income Californians suffering disproportionately from air pollution.
One successful program that would be jeopardized by this move is Charge Ahead California, a priority for NRDC, because it is helping to make clean transportation options available and affordable to more Californians. The program provides funding for electric vehicle rebates, equity programs that help low-income families replace dirty clunkers, transit improvements like car-sharing, vanpools, and public fleets, and advances in the trucking sector needed for the Valley and South Coast to meet federal air quality standards. Without reliable funding immediately, the program could sputter, delaying the benefits of clean air and low carbon transportation for communities that need it now.”
Ronald Coleman, government affairs manager, California Immigrant Policy Center:
“We applaud Governor Brown for standing by his commitment to invest in immigrant children by ensuring that the expansion of full-scope Medi-Cal continues on schedule. Yet with millions of undocumented Californians unjustly locked out of care, the work is far from over. Health care is a human right. We call on the Governor to fulfill the promise of the ACA and ensure that all Californians, regardless of status, have access to coverage.”
Pablo Barrios, youth organizer, Right to Health Committee:
“California has been a leader for immigrant and health care rights, and we are glad to see this budget maintains the promise that all children, regardless of status, will receive life saving, quality, affordable health care. As health care workers, we know our work is not over until every Californian receives the care they need to stay healthy and contribute to our economy. This year we’ll be fighting for full #Health4All, with no exclusions from this basic right to health care.”
Judy Darnell, vice president of public policy, United Ways of California:
“Last year, the Governor and legislature took the long awaited, much needed step to ensure all children in California, regardless of immigration status, have access to appropriate coverage and care. We thank the Governor and Administration for their commitment to the timely implementation starting May 1, 2016.”
Minister Zach Hoover, executive director, LA Voice PICO California:
“God created us all equal and with dignity. In the midst of an ugly political discourse that scapegoats our brothers and sisters, we are proud to be from a state that sees all immigrants as worthy of a full and unequivocal investment in their future health--because all our health is all of our concern and prayer. We want #health4all now.”
Mayra E. Alvarez, president of The Children's Partnership:
“The budget released today reflects the Governor's commitment to ensuring all children in California, regardless of immigration status, have access to quality, affordable health coverage. When children are healthy, they do better in school and grow up to be healthy and productive adults. As we work together to ensure timely implementation of this important opportunity, we encourage the Governor to continue California's leadership in health care and extend coverage to all members of the family.”
Angelica Salas, executive director, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles:
“The long-term prosperity of our state is tied to healthcare for all immigrants. Governor Brown has recognized this by continuing with his commitment to invest in a healthcare program for all children. With this, Governor Brown is securing long term economic prosperity of our state. We look forward to the expansion of programs like Heath4All Kids, so that all of our immigrant families have access to care.”