Los Angeles – Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for FY 2019-20 makes significant strides in prioritizing children and the health of California families. In his first budget, Governor Newsom makes clear his commitment to a stronger California that is inclusive, affordable and that will create a healthier generation of Californians.
“Our shared priority across the state must be the wellbeing of our children. Smart and concrete upfront investments in children’s healthcare can demonstrably move the needle on the long-term health of children and families and that of the State,” said Mayra E. Alvarez, President of The Children’s Partnership, a statewide advocacy organization that focuses on children’s health and wellbeing. “We thank Governor Newsom for prioritizing the programs and services that support children, and applaud his bold commitment to strengthening health services and coverage for all California families.”
The January budget takes critical steps toward addressing the early needs of children through investments in child care, home visiting, parental leave, and promotion of important early developmental screenings for young children. Further, the Budget proposes to build on the progress made through the Affordable Care Act by making insurance more affordable, expanding health coverage for young undocumented immigrant adults, and increasing the negotiation powers of the state when it comes to drug prices. In doing so, the Governor positions California for making leaps in improving the health of California’s children and families.
“California’s children—half of whom are part of an immigrant family—are direct beneficiaries of the state’s commitment to its diverse constituency. From leading efforts to implement the Affordable Care Act to securing important program investments for immigrant communities, California can provide an example of the critical importance of state and local action to continue to advance as a nation,” Alvarez continued. “We look forward to working with the Governor, his Administration, and the new Legislature to elevate the needs of children, particularly those who have been historically marginalized. Together, we can ensure every child is healthy, safe, and ready to learn and prove once again that California is leading the nation.”
The Children’s Partnership will continue to advocate to protect and advance the gains of the Affordable Care Act and seek opportunities to build on the Governor’s first budget by advocating for advanced quality and access solutions, which include smart and expedited pathways to enrollment such as express enrollment from nutrition programs like WIC to Medi-Cal for pregnant women and young children; telehealth and strengthening Medicaid to incentivize early childhood development; and support for integration of health services in community settings. The health care system is the first point of contact in most children’s lives, and healthy early development can have the most profound impact on children, today and in the future. As we reflect on the two decades of progress made toward inclusion and equity – from Proposition 187 to Health4All Kids to Governor’s Newsom’s first budget – we remain hopeful in our shared commitment to the future of all our children and look forward to working together to put our values into action.