Sacramento, January 10, 2019–
California is ushering a new era in the fight to end child poverty. Gov. Gavin Newsom just released his 2019–2020 budget, and he’s tackling poverty. We’re thrilled California is shifting from thinking in terms of piecemeal poverty solutions, to tools that work together in collaboration to help families leave poverty behind. California’s End Child Poverty Plan proposes a powerful group of anti-poverty tools. Many of the solutions in the plan were named today by the governor.
However, if we want to get at the root causes of intergenerational poverty, we need to leverage all of our tools. We listened to the Governor’s entire budget proposal. The biggest investment missing from the new budget? A targeted child tax credit that specifically addresses families in deep poverty.
Families in the most extreme poverty aren’t helped by many anti-poverty tools. These are families living below $12,500 per year for a family of four. They want the best for their children, and they are fighting hard. A targeted child tax credit (as recommended by the Child Poverty Task Force) will help families get to 50% of the federal poverty line. That’s still difficult to live on, but it will greatly reduce the toxic stress and unpredictability that these parents and children face.
“Governor Newsom’s budget is a magnificent start toward ending California’s unfortunate standing as the nation’s poverty capital,” said End Child Poverty in California and GRACE CEO Conway Collis. “Increasing the earned income tax credit, extending it to more people, and increasing CalWORKS grants will have a profound impact on our state’s overall poverty. The CalWORKS proposal will end deep child poverty for those eligible for CalWORKS. Now we have to finish the job. We must build on this foundation to shape a final budget that also changes life for many of the other 450,000 California children who live in deep poverty. As recommended by The Task Force’s Safety Net Subcommittee chaired by Jessica Bartholow from the Western Center on Law and Poverty, Assemblymember Autumn Burke’s AB 24 will do exactly that by developing a targeted child tax credit for those in deep poverty. We look forward to working with the Governor and Legislature on the targeted child tax credit to ensure our state’s budget lifts adults and children alike from deep poverty.”
It’s still a bright new year for our state. As Conway said, anti-poverty tools that invest in kids and families were the focus of the governor’s budget, including:
- CalWORKS grants increases, championed by Sen. Holly Mitchell
- CalEITC (Working Families Tax Credit) increases
- 6 months of paid family leave
- Health care expansion for undocumented individuals up to age 26
- Early childhood education investments
- Home visiting expansion for mothers from pregnancy through toddlerhood
- Workforce development
- Affordable housing investments
We’re so grateful for the work of advocates and partners who have tirelessly worked on these advances.
Join us in congratulating the governor on a children-focused budget and reminding him to keep his focus on families who are suffering the most in California.
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Photo credit: California State Assembly Website