The Children’s Partnership Welcomes Governor Newsom’s 2020-2021 Budget as an Important Step Toward a Healthier Generation of California Children

The Children’s Partnership Welcomes Governor Newsom’s 2020-2021 Budget as an Important Step Toward a Healthier Generation of California Children

For Immediate Release:

January 10, 2020

Contact: Aracely Navarro, (213) 341-0271 (ext. 135)

[Los Angeles, CA] Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for FY 2020-21 continues to move the needle towards a just, fair and inclusive society that aims to improve the lives of all children across California. With a projected budget surplus, the state of California has the opportunity to make innovative and sustainable improvements to the safety-net and in doing so make meaningful investments in the wellbeing of children. The early years of a child’s life are critical to their healthy development, and we are pleased that the state has committed to building on the significant early childhood and two-generation investments passed in last year’s budget, putting into action the value that we make California stronger by investing in children, families and communities.                                                            

“Governor Newsom’s FY20-21 budget continues this administration’s prioritization of young children and families as a critical component of realizing a ‘California for All,’” said Mayra E. Alvarez, President of The Children’s Partnership. “With this budget, California recognizes the critical need to value our young people and the ecosystem in which they are raised. We are proud to see California take ownership over our shared responsibility to invest in structures that protect and care for all children—strong families, nurturing institutions, and supportive communities. In doing so, we advance solutions in the best interests of our children and thus our state and nation’s prosperous and bright future.”

The Governor’s 2020-2021 budget works to center children and families in government decision-making and improve our systems collectively by creating the state’s first Department of Early Childhood Development. With the historic creation of this department, the state administration commits to aligning strategies, programs and services toward an integrated whole child, whole family mission to better serve young children and their families through a more efficient and effective government.

The Budget also includes a strong commitment to improving opportunity and addressing inequity for some of our most vulnerable populations, such as Californians facing homelessness. Through significant state investments in reforming Medi-Cal to couple medical care with social support services, the Budget seeks to address the impacts of where California families live, work, and play on their health outcomes. While Medi-Cal Healthier California for All (formerly CalAIM) is a step in the right direction to provide the comprehensive care Californians need, there is opportunity to further reform Medi-Cal to improve health care for the vast majority of Medi-Cal children who are not high needs but who may be at risk. We look forward to working with the Administration and legislature on ways to further the state’s commitment to healthy childhood development for all California children.

Additional key elements of the FY 2020-21 budget that support healthy childhood development include:

  • Preparing child-serving providers through the proposed development of an adverse childhood experiences cross-sector training program accredited by the Office of the Surgeon General
  • Strengthening whole families and intergenerational supports through the continued advancement of Health for All with the proposed expansion of eligibility for full-scope Medi-Cal benefits to all persons aged 65 years and older, regardless of immigration status.
  • Protecting immigrant communities through the one-time investment in the California Newcomer Education and Well-Being Project (CalNEW), which, among its protections will expand support services for children in immigrant families harmed by the federal “public charge” rule.
  • Centering healing through trauma-informed and developmentally appropriate services to youth in California’s state juvenile justice system as evidenced by additional investments in the transition of the Division of Juvenile Justice from the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to the Health and Human Services Agency as an independent department.

Through its focus on children, California can continue to be at the forefront of innovation and inclusivity on its path to a California for All. The Children’s Partnership will additionally seek opportunities to build on the Governor’s proposed budget by advocating for advanced quality and access solutions that strengthen coordination of services for child wellbeing, bring care to where children are, and invest in stronger community partnerships and supports that strengthen families.

We remain hopeful in the leadership of Governor Newsom and the legislature to advance our shared commitment to the foundation and preservation of effective state and local systems that put our children first. Ensuring the health and development of all children ensures California’s progress, and, in doing so, safeguards both the values of our state and its ability to face the economic challenges of the future.