10 Ways to Make Governor Newsom’s Proposed Budget More Equitable

Ongoing support is critical for the state and its people to truly move forward.

Economic struggles remain for the vast majority of Californians.

  • Provide ongoing funding for local public health departments that have requested $200 million in ongoing support to rebuild workforce and infrastructure before the next public health crisis and help advance health equity.
  • Target more aid to undocumented Californians with low and moderate incomes through additional cash payments. These Californians and their families were excluded from thousands of dollars in federal relief checks. The state can replace the federal relief dollars undocumented Californians and their families were denied with a $1.8 billion investment.
  • Increase funding for homelessness to at least $20 billion (from $12 billion) over 5 years (from 2 years), as proposed by the Legislature, and provide flexible and ongoing funding to sustain both new projects and existing effective local efforts.
  • Extend eligibility for comprehensive Medi-Cal to all undocumented Californians, covering those ages 26 to 59 left out of the governor’s proposal and putting an end to racist and exclusionary policies that block millions of Californians from accessing vital health services, at an additional state cost of about $1 billion.
  • Expand access to food assistance to serve Californians regardless of immigration status. This can be done through the California Food Assistance Program which currently provides food benefits for some non-undocumented immigrant Californians. This would move the state forward in addressing the disparity in basic nutrition support available to undocumented Californians and their families.
  • Ensure child care providers are paid fairly by reforming reimbursement rates. Thousands of child care providers care for children via the subsidized child care and development system while receiving meager wages from the state. Given the number of children currently served in subsidized programs, updating to just 2018 rate levels would cost approximately $227 million.
  • Maintain payment rates for workers who rely on California’s paid family leave and state disability insurance programs for their family care needs. Without action, the payment rates will decrease at the end of the year, further blocking California workers with low wages from paid time off to care for themselves or a family member.
  • Eliminate poorly targeted tax give-aways that primarily benefit large corporations, including the proposed expansion of the California Competes Tax Credit and Film Tax Credit.
  • Reject the proposal to deposit $1.1 billion into California’s unemployment insurance (UI) trust fund. This would provide a poorly targeted tax break to businesses that were not paying enough into the UI system before the pandemic at the expense of helping Californians most harmed by the economic crisis who need financial support now.
  • Close more state prisons, which disproportionately harm Black and brown Californians and waste state resources. Closing five prisons could generate state savings of around $1 billion, which could be reallocated to promote rehabilitation, reduce poverty, and strengthen families and communities, particularly Black and Latinx communities that have long faced discrimination at the hands of the justice system.



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California Budget & Policy Center

California Budget & Policy Center


Independent policy research, analysis, and commentary with the goal of helping create an economy that works for all Californians.