California Kids Have a Right to Health Care

Unless Congress acts now, California could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). About 1.3 million kids in California rely on CHIP for everything from prescriptions to emergency services—and without federal funds, their health is at risk.

Congress let funding for CHIP expire in September, and since then, legislators haven’t made a serious effort to restore funding for the program. That’s a problem, because California estimates that its CHIP funding will run out by January.

It’s important to know that California is legally obligated to pay for CHIP when federal funding runs out, and state lawmakers have no idea where they will get that money on short notice. To put it more bluntly: There is no backup plan.

End Child Poverty in California is petitioning Congress to keep financing CHIP, and we need your signature. Over the course of 20 years, the program has decreased the rate of uninsured children in California from 13.9 percent to 4.5 percent. We can’t let that number rise again.

CHIP makes health care affordable for millions of California families:

The program also helps children grow into thriving, financially secure adults:

Without federal money for CHIP, our state could reverse the progress we’ve made for low- and middle-income children—and that’s unacceptable. Please add your signature to our petition and remind Congress that California kids deserve good health.


Letter to the Editor

From our CEO, Conway Collis:

Here’s what we know: when people learn that California has the highest poverty rate in the country they’re shocked, then outraged, and then ready for action.

We know that people will support legislative goals to end child poverty if they know the reality of the issue. So, last week I wrote a letter to the editor of the LA Times after an article was published with misleading information about child poverty in California. It is exactly these kinds of errors that underline the importance of our efforts to increase awareness of the severity of child poverty in California.

Do me a favor: share my very short article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

(If you’re old school like me, you can share the link to this post or copy and paste the letter in an email.)

To the editor: The Times’ article on the Census Bureau report on income levels was informative but misleading in regard to the percentage of people living in poverty, especially in California. (“American households finally earn more than they did in 1999,” Sept. 12)

The article did not use or report on the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in the cost of living (such as the price of housing) and is generally considered a much more accurate measure of people’s financial situation. That is especially important in California.

Under that official measure, 20.4% of Californians live in poverty, the highest percentage of any state in the country. That percentage also is virtually unchanged since 2013. Nationwide, 14.7% of people live in poverty under this measure.

Reporting on the more accurate Supplemental Poverty Measure is crucial because the lack of public awareness about the human and fiscal crisis of poverty in California is a major reason that comprehensive, sustained actions have not been taken to reduce it.

Article originally published in the LA Times.

California, which is so often the beacon of progressive politics in the US, has the highest rate of child poverty in the country. We must change this.

I hope this makes you mad (but ready for action). And I hope it compels all of us to fight for our kids.

Thank you for all that you do,

Sincerely,
Conway Collis


BREAKING: AB 1520, The Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force, Passes CA Legislature without a Dissenting Vote

Just a day after the U.S. Census Bureau released new numbers that show that California still has the highest rate of child poverty in the nation, California took a groundbreaking step to address the problem by sending AB 1520, the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force, to the Governor’s desk.

“California is a global leader in climate change and progressive politics, yet we have the highest rate of child poverty in the country—almost 2 million children,” said Conway Collis, CEO of the nonprofit GRACE, a sponsor of the bill. “We have a chance to turn that around. Governor Brown now has AB 1520 in his hands, bipartisan legislation that passed the legislature without a dissenting vote, that will take a crucial step towards reducing child poverty in our state.  On behalf of the almost 50 organizations supporting AB 1520 we urge him to sign it.”

AB 1520, the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force, will convene a group of experts from inside and outside of government who will set a framework for California to dramatically reduce its child poverty rate by investing in proven solutions such as voluntary home visiting; high-quality, affordable early childhood education; after-school and summer programs; earned income tax credits for working families; and job training. Learn more here.

Child poverty is a problem that can be solved, and AB 1520 is a critical first step to doing just that.  

For updates and action alerts, join the campaign

***

AB 1520 Supporters

  • GRACE (sponsor)
  • Alameda County Board of Supervisors
  • Bonnie M. Dumanis San Diego County District Attorney
  • California Alternative Payment Program Association
  • California Catholic Conference
  • California Coverage and Health Initiatives
  • California Legislative Black Caucus
  • California State Parent Teacher Association
  • California Health+ Advocates
  • Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
  • Children Now
  • Children’s Defense Fund
  • Crystal Stairs
  • First 5 California
  • First AME Church of Los Angeles
  • First Focus Campaign for Children
  • Golden State Opportunity
  • Health Access California
  • Jewish Public Affairs Committee
  • Junior Leagues of CA
  • LA PROMISE
  • Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood
  • Los Angeles Urban League
  • Moneta Gardens Community Center
  • Mothers In Action, Inc.
  • National Association of Social Workers, CA Chapter
  • National Foster Youth Institute
  • One For All (OFA)
  • Public Counsel
  • San Diego County District Attorney
  • SHIELDS for families
  • Social Justice Learning Institute
  • South Bay Community Services
  • South Bay Universal Child Development Center
  • St. John’s Well Child & Family Center
  • St. Joseph Center Planting Hope & Growing Lives
  • University of Southern California
  • Western Center on Law and Poverty
  • Youth Policy Institute

AB 1520 Author

Assembly Member Autumn R. Burke

AB 1520 Co-Authors

Assembly Members

Assemblymember Catharine B. Baker (R, District 16)

Assemblymember David Chiu (D, District 17)

Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D, District 9)

Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D, District 58)

Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D, District 78)

Assemblymember Monique Limón (D, District 37)

Assemblymember Chad Mayes (R, District 42)

Assemblymember Blanca E. Rubio (D, District 48)

Assemblymember Marc Steinorth (R, District 40)

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D, District 15)

Senators

Senator Joel Anderson (R, District 38)

Senator Steven Bradford (D, District 35)


AB 1520 Passes Senate Human Services Committee

On Tuesday, The Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act (AB 1520) passed the Senate Human Services Committee by a unanimous and bipartisan vote.

Since its introduction, AB 1520 has been amended to create a statewide task force made up of leaders inside and outside of government charged with developing a comprehensive, data-driven plan to eliminate deep child poverty and reduce overall child poverty by 50% over 20 years.

This is a significant and necessary step forward for California. Sign on to support this legislation.

California has the highest rate of child poverty in the nation—affecting 1.9 million children. Although some progress has been made in reducing poverty, we still have higher rates of child poverty today than we did 10 years ago.

The AB 1520 task force is an important first step because it creates a road map for California to set a model for the nation to dramatically reduce child poverty.

AB 1520 now progresses to the Senate Appropriations Committee and hopefully to the governor’s desk soon, but we need your help to continue to build momentum to ensure its passage.

If you haven’t done so already, sign on to support AB 1520 today and share this development on Facebook and Twitter!

AB 1520 is heard at the Senate Human Services Committee meeting in Sacramento. Photo: Sandra Sanchez

State Budget Wins for California Kids

Governor Jerry Brown just signed the 2017–2018 budget that includes some key wins for California’s children living in poverty:

    • More than one million more households will now be eligible for the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), a program that puts money back in the pockets of poor working families. The expansion raises the eligibility threshold to $22,300 for families (that’s a year’s salary working for minimum wage). Read more.
    • Funding for preschool and child care programs will be boosted by $25 million, creating 2,900 more slots. These programs are an excellent investment that provide dividends to families and communities well into the future, and California is leading the way. Read more.
    • Nearly $240 million is included to continue much-needed preschool and childcare provider rate increases. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), early childhood educators earn 40% less than other professionals with similar qualifications. Read more.
    • $50 million is allocated to the After School and Education and Safety program (ASES), that provides critical after school programs for children. After-school and summer programs are critical resources for children and working families. Read more.

Thanks to YOU we’ve been able to support these efforts. Together, we can reduce child poverty in our state by 50%.

  • Share this news on Facebook here.
  • Share this news on Twitter here.
  • Add your name to join the movement here.
Photo credit Adobe Stock © Rob 2017

Get the Facts on AB 1520, the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force

Assembly Bill 1520, the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force, creates an expert task force made up of leaders and stakeholders from inside and outside government that will develop a comprehensive, data-driven plan that lays the groundwork to end child poverty in California.

AB 1520, authored by Assemblywoman Autumn Burke and sponsored by the anti-poverty non-profit GRACE passed the legislature with bipartisan support and not one dissenting vote. The legislation is informed by the latest poverty research from the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality.

AB 1520 is now on the Governors desk awaiting his signature.

BACKGROUND

California has the highest rate of child poverty in the nation according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure that accounts for the high cost of living in our state. That translates to one in five children or 1.9 million California children affected. Almost one-third of African American children and one-third of Latino children in California live in poverty.

Efforts to invest in measures to reduce child poverty have been hampered by a lack of sustained focus and a defined, comprehensive plan for addressing the problem. AB 1520 takes the first step in addressing child poverty through the creation of a task force that will develop a comprehensive plan with proven, data-driven solutions to significantly reduce California’s child poverty rate.

ASSEMBLY BILL 1520

AB 1520 addresses deep poverty and moves toward reducing the overall child poverty rate in California by creating the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force, which will provide a comprehensive plan to the Legislature and various state agencies.

The task force will consist of stakeholders that focus on family and child well-being, from birth to adulthood, in furtherance of the goals of reducing child poverty and alleviating family crises.

Expert analysis finds that over time, a comprehensive and data-driven approach will save taxpayers money in healthcare and social services, reduce overcrowded jails and prisons, decrease child abuse, and significantly reduce the number of children living in poverty, with an estimated 2:1 return on investment for taxpayers.

See the full text of the bill here.

SUPPORT

  • GRACE (sponsor)
  • Alameda County Board of Supervisors
  • Bonnie M. Dumanis San Diego County District Attorney
  • California Alternative Payment Program Association
  • California Catholic Conference
  • California Coverage and Health Initiatives
  • California Legislative Black Caucus
  • California State Parent Teacher Association
  • California Health+ Advocates
  • Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
  • Children Now
  • Children’s Defense Fund
  • First 5 California
  • First AME Church of Los Angeles
  • First Focus Campaign for Children
  • Golden State Opportunity
  • Health Access California
  • Jewish Public Affairs Committee
  • Junior Leagues of CA
  • LA PROMISE
  • Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood
  • Los Angeles Urban League
  • Moneta Gardens Community Center
  • Mothers In Action, Inc.
  • National Association of Social Workers, CA Chapter
  • National Foster Youth Institute
  • One For All (OFA)
  • Public Counsel
  • San Diego County District Attorney
  • SHIELDS for families
  • Social Justice Learning Institute
  • South Bay Community Services
  • South Bay Universal Child Development Center
  • St. John’s Well Child & Family Center
  • St. Joseph Center Planting Hope & Growing Lives
  • University of Southern California
  • Western Center on Law and Poverty
  • Youth Policy Institute


BREAKING: Landmark legislation to reduce child poverty by 50% introduced in California State Assembly

ECPCA Girl-Pink-Lead-Nation

Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D–Inglewood) just introduced The Lifting Children and Families out of Poverty Act, AB 1520, in the California State Assembly.

This landmark legislation commits California to a goal of reducing child poverty by 50% over 20 years, and provides a framework of research-backed solutions to achieve it.

California has the highest rate of child poverty in the nation according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure that accounts for the high cost of living in our state. That translates to 1.9 million, or one in five California children. Child poverty of this magnitude will take a generation to change: AB 1520 provides the tools to do it.

Join in supporting The Lifting Children and Families out of Poverty Act:

Yes, I support AB 1520.

AB 1520 gives California the opportunity to set a model for the nation in reducing child poverty—dramatically improving the lives of California’s children and families, and strengthening our economy.

Groundbreaking change will take a groundswell of support. Learn more about AB 1520 here, and let your network know that California is leading the way by sharing on Facebook and Twitter.


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