RELEASE: GRACE & ECPCA Are Pleased Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Budget Protects Anti-Poverty Investments

Statement on Governor Newsom’s Proposed 2024-25 Budget

ECPCA & GRACE urge adoption of revenues and investments needed to advance a more equitable California

[PASADENA, CALIF., UNITED STATES, January 10, 2024] Statement attributable to Shimica Gaskins, President & CEO, GRACE & End Child Poverty California (ECPCA):

GRACE and ECPCA dare to dream of a future in which every child is valued and free. We applaud Governor Newsom’s Proposed 2024-25 Budget for protecting important investments for children and families and continuing critical progress toward making our shared vision a reality.

From day one, Governor Newsom has made ending child poverty his north star – and today is no different. We thank Governor Newsom and his Administration for continuing that commitment, again rejecting harmful austerity cuts and recognizing that when the state falls on hard times, the programs that help lift children and families out of poverty are needed more than ever.

In particular, the January budget reaffirms ongoing commitments to community-informed ECPCA IMAGINE priorities, including:

  • Universal School Meals so all our children are nourished
  • The California Earned Income Tax Credit and Young Child Tax Credit so families have much-needed financial security
  • Aligning systems from Cradle to Career to create freedom and opportunity for families as they raise their children 
  • A national pilot opportunity to advance a reimagined CalWORKs program that centers family’s needs and dignity

In the effort to resolve the state’s budget problem, we will be looking closely at the proposed withdrawal from the Safety Net Reserve and the proposed cuts to the CalWORKs Family Stabilization Program (FSP) and Housing Supplement for Foster Youth in Supervised Independent Living Placements. The FSP was created to ensure housing, mental health, safety, and family stability for some of our most vulnerable families with children. It is a program CalWORKs parents and advocates have prioritized for expansion. 

Governor Newsom and legislative leaders have much to be proud of in creating and strengthening programs proven to prevent child poverty and build broad prosperity. These measures, along with federal investments made during the pandemic, drove child poverty to historic lows and closed long-standing racial inequities. As important as those gains are, income inequality in California continues to grow, and California still has the highest poverty rate of any state in the nation.

Our federal and state policymakers must continue to take decisive action. The good news is that the state and federal governments have unequivocally shown that poverty is a policy choice – and the state budget is a fundamental opportunity to advance a poverty-free future. 

We urge the Governor and Legislature to continue to take the actions needed to lift every California child and family out of poverty. This requires 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.

Again, we thank Governor Newsom for his continued leadership to put wealth to work. We ask the Governor to ensure that the values of California’s budget, both in revenues and investments, prioritize the future free from poverty we know is possible. 

We look forward to engaging with all stakeholders throughout the budget process.

End Child Poverty in California (ECPCA) is a campaign jointly sponsored by GRACE End Child Poverty Institute and GRACE (Gather, Respect, Advocate, Change, Engage).

GRACE End Child Poverty Institute is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that uses advocacy, legislative advocacy and mobilization programs to achieve its mission.  The mission of GRACE End Child Poverty is to make a positive difference in the lives of low-income families and their children through value-based collaborations and by formulating, implementing, and expanding measures to reduce barriers to full personal development and economic stability.