RELEASE: Senate Budget Plan Targets Equitable and Innovative Investments to Put California’s Wealth to Work


April 28, 2022

Contacts: Linda Swank, lindaswank@grace-inc.org, 626-356-4206

The alignment of the Senate’s budget priorities and End Child Poverty’s $10 Billion to Fight Poverty package signals an exciting opportunity this legislative cycle for joint advocacy and collaboration between legislative leaders and anti-poverty advocates

The California Senate outlined equity & prosperity as their key values today. They put forth an innovative plan to make California’s wealth work for a more equitable economy. The Senate’s budget is in response to Gov. Newsom’s proposed state budget.

We applaud the Senate for prioritizing children and families. The 178 End Child Poverty CA Coalition members worked together on a groundbreaking anti-poverty plan this year. Our $10 Billion to Fight Poverty plan is within reach. The Senate’s new budget shows us the way. The Senate plan includes targeted and equitable investments to serve people most impacted by the economic repercussions of the pandemic and rising inflation costs. 

“The Senate’s proposed budget puts California’s wealth to work today, tomorrow, and into the future. Our leaders are embracing innovative approaches such as baby bonds. They’re keeping their promises to ensure no child lives in deep poverty. They’re providing targeted tax relief so we equitably build back better in our state,” said Shimica Gaskins, President & CEO of Grace and End Child Poverty CA. 

We are especially thrilled to see the Senate include HOPE Accounts in the budget. HOPE Accounts are investment accounts to be created for children in poverty who had a primary caregiver die due to COVID-19, eligible foster youth, and more. With this inclusion, our leaders are planting the seeds to ensure California’s children have equitable opportunities in the future, taking the much needed first steps to combat the racial wealth gap and the opportunity gap that all poor children face. Similarly, we applaud and stand with the Senate’s plan to prevent the interception of tax credits intended to help Californians in poverty.

The alignment of the Senate’s budget priorities and End Child Poverty’s $10 Billion to Fight Poverty package signals an exciting opportunity this legislative cycle for joint advocacy and collaboration between legislative leaders and anti-poverty advocates to create long-term, transformative change for low-income families and communities of color. We are eager to work together to ensure that the deployment of the state’s surplus addresses the needs of families and children first and foremost.   


The End Child Poverty in California campaign is a growing coalition of 178 anti-poverty organizations, allies, and advocates fighting for the resources and strategies to ensure ALL children can be healthy, housed and fed. Our coalition efforts have led to over $13 billion investments to support children and have successfully fought to double the size of the California Earned Income Tax Credit and the Young Child Tax Credit, expand health care, create new subsidized child care slots, and more.

Read more about the End Child Poverty Coalition’s $10 Billion Package to Fight Poverty

Continue reading below for the End Child Poverty Coalition’s summary of the Senate’s Budget package and how it reflects our $10 Billion Package to Fight Poverty. The summary is also available here.

Senate Detailed Budget Plan Summary

Fund HOPE Accounts. The Senate’s budget proposal includes support for children impacted by COVID by establishing a fund to create trust accounts for children who have lost a parent/caregiver to COVID and children in long term foster care.

To Assist Struggling Californians & Families:

No Child in Deep Poverty. $300 million takes the final two steps to ensure No Child Lives In Deep Poverty through CalWORKs grant increases. First step is January 1, 2023, final step is January 1, 2025.

End Child Support Takeaways. $150 million to end the practice of taking child support payments from struggling families.

Targeted Tax Relief. Phase in expansions of targeted tax programs that support families, such as the Young Child Tax Credit and the Renters Tax Credit.

Prevent Debt Interception of Rebate Funds. This will prevent the intercept of rebate funds intended to help address poverty.

To Improve Early Care & Education:

Secure Child Care Workforce. $1 Billion ongoing to increase provider reimbursement rates to the 90th percentile of the regional market rate, with additional funds to support improved benefits for the childcare workforce.

Continue Family Fee Waivers & Provider Hold Harmless Policies. $245 million to keep childcare affordable for families and ensure providers have stable funding.

Invest in Infrastructure and Workforce. $445 million for child care facilities expansion and infrastructure investments, and professional development and workforce support.

Child Care System. Provide additional support for the child care system, including hold harmless policies to reimburse providers for enrollment and to waive family fees.

Stabilize and Support California State Preschool. Increases eligibility for low-income children, increases rate adjustment factors to support Preschool providers and provides planning funds for long-term investments in our early education system.

Other Highlights of the Senate Budget Package

CalEITC Improvement. $400 million ongoing to provide a minimum CalEITC credit of $255 to all recipients, providing more benefit to our lowest income earners.

Better For Families Tax Rebates. Provides $8 billion for the “Better For Families Rebate” Program to mitigate impacts of high energy costs and other goods, as well as the economic impacts of the pandemic.

  • $200 per taxpayer plus $200 for dependents, up to $125,000/$250,000 income (Single/Joint filers).
  • Supplemental one-time monthly grant for CalWORKs families and SSI/SSP recipients, to ensure Californians struggling the most benefit.

Grant program for other low-income Californians who are not income tax filers.

Medi-Cal For All. $1 billion to accelerate implementation of Medi-Cal Coverage Regardless of Immigration status to June 1, 2023.

Medi-Cal For Children. $10 million to provide continuous Medi-Cal coverage for children, ages 0-5.

Mental Health Student Services Act. $100 million to continue and expand investments in school based mental health services through the Mental Health Student Services Act.

Food Banks. $180 million to expand capacity and improve facilities for local food banks.

Foster Care Services. $315 million to improve home-based Foster Care services and reduce reliance on institutional care.

Food Assistance. $284 million beginning in 2023-24 to build upon last year’s expansion of the California Food Assistance Program regardless of immigration status, to expand to all ages.

Senior and Disabled Support. $150 million to accelerate second step SSI/SSP increase approved in 2021-22 Budget Act to April 1, 2023.

Affordable Housing and Home Ownership Package. $2.7 billion for Affordable Housing and Home Ownership

To Reduce Homelessness the Senate Plans to Enhance Existing Homelessness Investments. $3 billion, over three years, to build on last year’s major $12 billion two year investment with additional funding for Project Homekey, Funding for Encampment Resolution Funding Program, and Increased funding for HHAPP, to continue the state’s support of efforts in cities, counties, and Continuums of Care to reduce and eliminate homelessness.

Free Phone Calling. Continue the expanded free phone calls at state prisons.

To keep the momentum going, we will continue to fight for these budget investments:

Establish a Safety Net for All

We support the request by the Safety Net for All Coalition that California’s elected leaders make a one-time investment of $690 million to create an Excluded Workers Program for workers in California who are excluded from unemployment benefits solely due to their immigration status. 

Invest in Long-Term Solutions to Support Children from Cradle to Career- Coordinated Neighborhood and Regional Community Networks 

We need a $92.4 million three-year California Coordinated Neighborhood and Community Services grant program to implement new and strengthen existing cradle to career networks to enable more communities across California to benefit from their services. This grant program is essential now to address the needs of those hit hardest by the pandemic and long-term to ensure children succeed in school and families move out of poverty.

Provide a One-Time California Child Tax Credit (CTC) Payment

California can significantly reduce the harm to children from the expiring federal CTC expansion by providing a one-time $2,000-per-child tax refund to each low-income families who qualify for the CalEITC or California’s Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC). This proposal will benefit nearly 2 million children and cost an estimated $3.8 billion. Since this proposal will reduce state revenues in 2021-22, it would help California avoid hitting the State Appropriation Limit (SAL).