July 08th, 2022
“This year’s state budget is a progress budget: It paves the way toward addressing some of the most intractable, generational challenges California faces, and it highlights the road ahead that will be required to meet them. Our budget brings us closer to a future where every Californian is treated with dignity and respect — and gains access to the opportunities and resources — that we all deserve.
As a Californian, I’m proud to see historic investments to combat the climate crisis, strengthen our energy grid, invest in K-12 education, expand paid sick leave grants, and much more.
And as an anti-poverty advocate working to advance specific reforms, I am heartened to see priorities like $115 million going to the expansion of Hope Accounts, which are trust accounts for long-term foster youth and children who lost parents to COVID-19; direct inflation relief funds; $1.4 billion in utility assistance; expansion of Medi-Cal to all immigrants; $75 million for child support pass throughs, and many other anti-poverty initiatives included in the final budget. These are life-changing policy choices for families trying to make ends meet as costs rise, and investments like these can bring us closer to a future where the roughly 13.5 million Californians struggling to afford basic necessities can be free from poverty and have equal opportunity.
There is still much work to be done, and we must never become complacent or feel we have done enough. As we celebrate the very real progress in this budget, we need to continue writing a new script on poverty in California and advocating for bolder reforms in the years ahead.
I am enormously grateful to Governor Newsom, Speaker Rendon, Pro Tem Atkins, and others in the Legislature who worked tirelessly and thoughtfully to get these bills over the finish line. I’m also grateful to all of the advocates who have worked for years, or even decades, to ensure that the state’s financial priorities are inclusive of everyone that calls California home. EPIC and I, along with our allies, will continue to push the state to think bigger by doubling down on our investments in housing, wealth building tools like baby bonds, and safety net reforms, along with addressing structural impediments like the Gann Limit, which constrains our spending today to the spending levels of the 1970s. I am excited to be a part of that critical work.”
Michael Tubbs is the Founder of EPIC and the former Mayor of Stockton.