For Immediate Release:
January 8, 2021
Contact: Aracely Navarro, (213) 341-0271 (ext. 135)
[Los Angeles, CA] On Friday morning, Governor Gavin Newsom released the proposed State Budget for FY 2021-22, which advances a holistic response to the pandemic. The Children’s Partnership commends the Governor’s 2021-22 budget for reflecting California’s values of inclusion and equity as it aims to support the pressing needs of children and families. We are proud to be part of a state prioritizing immediate financial relief to families with critical investments in economic supports, housing, food assistance, child care access, and health care – a recognition of the holistic needs of California children in order for them to thrive today and in the future.
“The pandemic has disproportionately impacted California’s most marginalized children and families,” said Mayra E. Alvarez, President of The Children’s Partnership. “Our state’s path to recovery and healing rests on our ability to support children, families, and those who care for them across areas of dire need like health, housing, and economic security. The 2021-22 state budget confirms that California is prepared to make unprecedented investments in children and families’ stability and wellness.”
The proposed budget leads with a comprehensive response to the crises resulting from the pandemic and the inequitable repercussions to California’s marginalized children and families, as evidenced by:
- $2.4 billion for the Golden State Stimulus to provide economic relief to 3.9 million taxpayers with low income, as early as this February, with additional payments for those who file taxes with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs), including undocumented workers—which will reach an estimated 250,000 children alone
- $1.1 billion and commitment to further investment to CalAIM, designed to strengthen Medi-Cal through an emphasis on Whole Person Care and coordination across systems of care, integral to care of young children and their families in particular
- Delays the suspension of Proposition 56 supplemental payments to improve care delivery in Medi-Cal, like well child visits and developmental screenings, until July 1, 2022
- $400 million in one-time funding to implement an incentive plan through Medi-Cal managed care plans, in partnership with county behavioral health departments, to increase the number of students receiving preventive and early intervention behavioral health services by schools
- Recognizing the role of a community-based workforce to further health equity by investing $5.3 million in community navigators who are parents with lived experiences who work to increase access to services for children served by the regional center system
- Resources to expand and make permanent certain telehealth flexibilities authorized during COVID-19 for Medi-Cal providers
- Supporting early childhood development through $55 million in COVID-19 related support for child care providers’ and families’ needs that have arisen as a result of the pandemic
- Eliminating data silos between child-serving agencies by ensuring that CA’s Cradle-To-Career Data System reflect a “whole child” approach that incorporates data from education, health, and human services agencies and supporting its continued development through a $15 million investment
- Bringing care to where children are and strengthening the communities they live in by making schools a hub for resources that support child health and wellbeing through an additional $264.9 million investment that will enable school districts to expand and establish new community schools with priority given to schools in high-poverty communities
- $5 million to bring books to children from low-income families to support their learning trajectory and healthy child development
- Investing $1.7 million to better understand the intersection of COVID-19, health disparities, and health equity
- Execute an equitable COVID-19 vaccine education and distribution through an expansion to community outreach efforts with an additional $62.5 million General Fund appropriated in 2020 that is leveraging additional philanthropic resources to fund paid media and provide for direct engagement with trusted community organizations.
While we applaud these critical investments, we must also acknowledge that caring for the health of California’s children requires caring for the health of their whole family, including grandparents, many of whom (1 in 4 in the US) care directly for young children. Safety-net services like health coverage must include all, especially in a public health emergency that is disproportionately impacting our communities of color and seniors. Removing the eligibility restriction for undocumented seniors will bring California one step closer to universal health coverage, recognizing that California is stronger when everyone is covered.
The Children’s Partnership looks forward to working with the Governor and Legislature to continue ensuring our values are reflected in the 2021-22 budget, prioritizing the needs of California’s children and families in order to advance a just and equitable agenda for California.