GRACE & End Child Poverty CA Statements – April 26, 2023
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Celebrating the CA Senate Budget Plan and Denouncing U.S. House Debt Ceiling Bill
GRACE & End Child Poverty California Celebrate Senate Budget Plan
Urge Adoption of Revenues & Investments Needed for a More Equitable California
April 26, 2023 / / Pasadena, CA
Statement attributable to Shimica Gaskins, President & CEO, GRACE/End Child Poverty California:
“We at GRACE dare to dream of a future in which every child is valued and free, and the Senate Budget Plan released today by Pro Tem Atkins and Budget Chair Skinner would make enormous progress in achieving that goal. We applaud the Senate for embracing a comprehensive approach that would move California forward together toward a more equitable future through a combination of revenues to ensure that wealthy corporations pay their fair share, and investments in programs proven to lift children and families out of poverty and reverse long-standing racial inequities.
We are thrilled that the Senate Budget Plan would adopt many community-informed IMAGINE priorities, including critical investments to:
- CalWORKS: End deep child poverty, remove the WPR penalty, support sanction reform, invest in menstrual equity
- Increase the minimum CalEITC payment to $275
- Child care: invest in rates to help stabilize providers and protect families from harmful fees
- CalFresh: provide a $50 minimum, prevent the 3-month time limit, and achieve Food For All
- School meals: maximize the new Summer EBT program and support kitchen infrastructure
- Homelessness prevention and affordable housing – landmark $1 billion ongoing
- Support schools, bolster health programs, and much more.
We again thank the Senate for their continued leadership to put wealth to work and ensure that the values of California’s budget, both revenues and investments, prioritize the future free from poverty we know is possible. We urge the Legislature and Administration to adopt these critical proposals in the 2023-24 Budget, and look forward to engaging with all stakeholders as the budget process continues.”
GRACE & End Child Poverty California Statement on House Debt Ceiling Bill
House bill would worsen poverty for children and families and deepen racial inequities. Urge Senate and President to reject this approach, and invest in programs proven to lift children and families out of poverty.
April 26, 2023 / / Pasadena, CA
Statement attributable to Shimica Gaskins, President and CEO, GRACE/End Child Poverty California:
“The House bill passed today includes unconscionable policies that balance the budget on the backs of the very Califfornians with low-incomes that the federal government should prioritize. It is a shocking, anti-family bill that would reverse the historic gains in reducing child poverty – achieved just two years ago – and deepen already unjust inequities for Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and other disenfranchised communities.
The bill would make across the board 22% cuts that harm children and families, and cap annual spending growth at 1% for key domestic federal programs such as WIC, housing, veterans’ health care, child care and preschool, public health, Pell Grants and college work-study, K-12 education, and environmental protection, among many others.
Perhaps the most odious element is that the bill doubles down on punitive, failed work requirements across the safety net, policies rooted in racist & sexist stereotypes that families with low-incomes need to be coerced to work in order to receive basic assistance:
- Deepen already perverse incentives for states to deny cash aid to families in need of support in the name of success, while forcing more parents accessing TANF into rigid, ineffective programs and pushing families deeper into poverty because they are unable to document that they meet narrow requirements. Without cash benefits to meet their basic needs, more families likely will end up homeless or have their children removed and placed in the child welfare system.
- Worsen already cruel time limits by risking SNAP food assistance for 136,000 older adults across California, and take away the ability for states to use the bank of individual exemptions that has been a critical backstop to limit the harm of this awful policy
- Threaten health care for nearly 3 million Californians with low incomes – 22% of Medi-Cal enrollees
We thank the many Members of the California delegation who spoke out against and opposed this legislation. We thank President Biden for issuing his veto message on the bill, which highlights many of the harmful policies that would punish Californians with low-incomes. We urge the Senate and President to reject this approach, and instead build on the proven pathways to lift children and families out of poverty and advance a more equitable future.”