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What does the Legislature’s budget proposal mean for fighting child poverty?

Two-House Budget Agreement Highlights from ECPCA’s $10 Billion to Fight Poverty Budget Campaign

We are thrilled and appreciative to see many of the budget proposals supported by our Coalition reflected in the Legislature’s proposed state budget. We see these as vital to keeping the momentum on ending child poverty in California. In total, we estimate the Legislature has proposed over $11.1 billion dollars to fight poverty as supported by the End Child Poverty CA Coalition. We are especially excited and in full support to see the Legislature include the following investments:

Urgent Relief Payments

  • Providing $8 billion for the Better for Families Rebates to give $200 per taxpayer and dependent to address increasing costs of basic needs like food and gas;
  • Providing an additional rebate for CalWORKs families and those enrolled in the Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment program

Child Care

  • Increasing the child care reimbursement rate to the 85th percentile of the regional market rate, and including a cost of living increase to the county regional market rate;
  • Investing $200 million in additional childcare facilities as proposed by the Governor’s May Revision;
  • Approving the waiving of family fees for childcare as proposed by the Governor’s May Revision

CalWORKs

  • Increasing CalWORKs grant levels starting July 1, 2023 and providing $789 million to increase CalWORKs grants to end deep child poverty

Child Support

  • Implementing a full-pass through of child support payments to families formerly receiving public assistance as proposed by the Governor’s January budget;
  • Implementing a full-pass through of child support payments to families currently on public assistance in 2024-2025 and on-going 

Transformative Investments

  • Creating the HOPE Account Program to provide trust fund accounts for low-income children who have lost parents or caregivers to COVID-19 and for children who experienced long-term foster care;
  • Approving $12 million as proposed by the Governor’s May Revision as assistance for Promise Neighborhoods to ensure low-income children and families receive place-based, wraparound services from cradle to career

GRACE & ECPCA Statement on CA Legislature’s Joint Budget Proposal

Statement by Shimica Gaskins, President & CEO of GRACE/End Child Poverty CA:

“We are celebrating today’s announcement that the legislature’s latest budget deal includes a $100 million on-going commitment for HOPE accounts. Creating HOPE accounts for the tens of thousands of California children who lost a parent to COVID and long-term foster youth provides targeted support to our state’s most vulnerable children. The creation of HOPE accounts sets California onto a path for a brighter future, as we can proudly say that we are establishing baby bonds while also building a framework the state can build upon to shrink the racial wealth gap in our state and change the trajectory for millions of California children.

“We are grateful to Senator Nancy Skinner for championing the HOPE for Children Act and to our partners, Liberation in a Generation and End Poverty in California (EPIC), for working alongside GRACE & End Child Poverty CA to fight for this critical program to remain in the final budget.

“A budget is a statement of a state’s values, and this commitment to HOPE accounts makes it clear that California values our children. We urge the Governor to move quickly to sign this budget into law to ensure we can make an immediate down payment on our promise to give every child in California a chance to succeed.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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.   

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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.

Continue reading…

2020 Wins for the End Child Poverty California Movement

We want to share End Child Poverty California movement wins from the most recent California budget.

In spite of the fact that this continues to be an incredibly difficult year, we are moving forward together. We’re proud to work with such a phenomenal group of partners, parents and advocates. We believe ALL our children deserve to be healthy, housed and fed.

On June 29, 2020, California’s newest state budget was finalized. For the first time ever, undocumented families are included in the poverty-fighting CalEITC cash-back tax credit.

This means money going directly to working families who have been left out of economic relief and necessary income supports during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know this money will be used in local communities. We know it will support some of our most vulnerable undocumented families who urgently need money for food, bills, and health care.

End Child Poverty California quote box: For the first time ever, undocumented families with young children are included in the poverty-fighting 
CalEITC cash-back tax credit

The CalEITC tax credit change applies to undocumented families who have children under six, and who file taxes using an Individual Tax Identification Number. These families don’t have Social Security Numbers, but they pay taxes. The change also includes the $1,000 Young Child Tax Credit for any family with children under six earning $1 or more. These changes go into effect next year. For the first time, ALL California families with young children who file taxes and make less than about $30,000 per year will be eligible for these life-saving credits.

We will continue working hard alongside our partners and the CalEITC Coalition and the Safety Net For All Coalition (a network of over 125 organizations) so that more California families can be included in immediate and ongoing relief.

And there is more good news: Both of our End Child Poverty California Senate bills passed out of the State Senate with bipartisan support!

Senate Bill 1103: Workforce Support Services for Californians (Authored by Sen. Melissa Hurtado)

Many promising youth and community members haven’t been able to complete career training programs that lead to higher wage jobs and a path out of poverty, due to the daily challenges of living in poverty. These include lack of child care, commutes of two- to three-hours each way, and the need to work multiple low-wage jobs to support their families while going to training. 

End Child Poverty California Senate Bill 1103 quote from Alma Moreno of Sanger: Many of us have wanted to go back to school but the lack of child care and support makes it very difficult. It’s very difficult to take night classes when you don’t have transportation or resources. We would like to have a brighter future and fight child poverty in California. On behalf of the California Farmworkers Foundation, we strongly support SB 1103.

SB 1103 by Senator Melissa Hurtado (D – Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare Counties) creates the High Roads Workforce Training Program that addresses the issues that stop people from graduating. This is an important commitment to families and brighter futures. SB 1103 is particularly important to California’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

Read Alicia’s and Lesly’s stories about why SB 1103 is so important.

Senate Bill 1409: CalEITC Tax Credit Auto-filing Pilot for Families with Low Incomes (Authored by Senator Anna Caballero)

We know that many families earn so little that they are not required to file taxes, yet they are eligible for the CalEITC tax credit and Young Child Tax Credit that would help them with stability and basic necessities. 

SB 1409 authored by Senator Caballero (D – Salinas Valley and parts of the Central Valley) seeks to develop efficiencies in tax filing, so that families can directly receive their CA EITC  and other tax benefits.  Research has shown that as much as $2 Billion State and Federal Tax Credits are left unclaimed.  This bill would cut through bureaucracy and would create methods for direct payments to families.

End Child Poverty California Senate Bill 1409 quote from Senator Anna Caballero: Many of California’s most economically fragile households do not receive CalEITC because they may be unaware they qualify for this critical tax credit or simply do not file a tax return because they earn too little.

This crisis has had an outsized impact on our families in poverty and together we can make sure we change the way we support and create opportunities for families. Looking forward to sharing more good news in support of children and families soon.

More California budget news and analysis from partners:


RELEASE: End Child Poverty California Response to Governor’s Announcement of Aid for Undocumented Californians

APRIL 15, 2020

The governor’s announcement was the clearest possible statement that we are all in this together. It is a watershed moment in recognizing undocumented residents as full participants in California life. This desperately needed assistance recognizes that undocumented Californians are integral to our communities and our economy, and fills gaps left by a federal assistance plan that excludes millions of Californians.

Conway Collis, End Child Poverty California President & CEO

End Child Poverty California Co-Chair Conway Collis issued the following statement today following Gov. Newsom’s announcement of $125 million in financial assistance for undocumented Californians:

“The governor’s announcement was the clearest possible statement that we are all in this together. It is a watershed moment in recognizing undocumented residents as full participants in California life. This desperately needed assistance recognizes that undocumented Californians are integral to our communities and our economy, and fills gaps left by a federal assistance plan that excludes millions of Californians.

“The Governor’s aid package is similar to the one within the California Covid-19 Anti-Poverty Stimulus Package proposed by End Child Poverty CA and the Dolores Huerta Foundation, and we thank him for his bold action. 

“We expect this initial funding to be quickly exhausted, so we look forward to working with our leaders in Sacramento to ensure we keep help coming to where it’s needed most. We and others have proposed ongoing financial assistance for the lowest-income Californians. The need is clear for these types of payments to continue into the future, because all Californians deserve to be healthy, fed & housed.  

“I’ve never been prouder to be a Californian.” 


JOIN US: End Child Poverty CA Action Call w/ Rep. Karen Bass & Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta, 3-26-20

Join Congressmember Karen Bass, Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta, GRACE/ECPCA CEO Conway Collis and movement partners this Thursday, 3-26-20, from 9:30-10:30am, for an End Child Poverty California Movement Action Call as we address the COVID-19 crisis together. [MEETING LINK & CALL-IN INFO BELOW] 

What started as a health crisis, COVID-19 is quickly turning into an economic catastrophe for vulnerable Californians.

We’re mobilizing support for the Anti-poverty Stimulus Package, sharing resources and addressing the COVID-19 crisis together. Congressmember Bass will update us on the Federal response (unless the House is called into session and she needs to vote at the time of the call). 

The Action Call is open to motivated Californians across the state and End Child Poverty CA Movement partners and collaborators. Join us and share the link: https://www.endchildpovertyca.org/action-call-2/.

Congressmember Karen Bass speaks in front of a podium that says "End Child Poverty in California" at an End Child Poverty rally, April 2017. Photo credit: Valerie Goodloe
Congressmember Karen Bass speaks at an End Child Poverty rally, April 2017. Photo credit: Valerie Goodloe

Call-in & Video Conferencing Information

This is a Zoom Video Conference with Phone-In Option
Time: Mar 26, 2020 09:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/478095623

Meeting ID: 478 095 623

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Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/adJY3QoPFj

Find Out More

→ End Child Poverty California COVID-19 Action Page

→ COVID-19 Anti-poverty Stimulus Package

→ End Child Poverty CA Press Release

→ End Child Poverty CA Letter to the Governor from CEO Conway Collis and Dolores Huerta, President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation

→ End Child Poverty California Movement Resources List (Dynamic & Editable)

Photo Credit: Fernando Rios


End Child Poverty CA COVID-19 Anti-Poverty Stimulus Package: Cash to Vulnerable Californians

END CHILD POVERTY CA COVID-19 ANTI-POVERTY STIMULUS PACKAGE

The following one -time payments respond to the current COVID-19 crisis for California’s most vulnerable children and families. They also provide an immediate economic stimulus as research shows that 80% of cash supports are spent locally.

Prior to the pandemic, California families were already faced with health, hunger, and housing instability. COVID-19 has exacerbated this crisis. We need to provide immediate cash assistance for vulnerable families NOW to allow parents and caregivers to stay home with their children, purchase necessities, and keep their families housed as California addresses this health and economic crisis.

Proposal # 1 Child Poverty Emergency Safety Net Payment

Families living in deep poverty will be hardest hit by the COVID-19 economic downturn. This safety net payment will help increase stability during this health crisis. A one-time cash payment of up to $1,200 would be paid through the counties via the general assistance program to families with at least one child ages 6 or under and with income and earnings at 70% of the Federal Poverty Line, irrespective of immigration status.

Cost estimate: One-time GF cost of $150 million. Counties would also incur administrative costs, which would be reimbursable from the state.

Proposal #2: Supplemental Emergency CalEITC Payments

The Cal EITC is well positioned to provide cash to lower-wage workers. We propose that all taxpayers eligible for 2019 expanded California EITC would be eligible immediately for a second credit equal to one-half the size of the credit they were eligible for in 2019. In addition, ITIN filers should be included in this payment.

Cost estimate: One-time GF cost of approximately $550 million.

Proposal #3: Emergency Assistance Payments.

One-time emergency assistance from the state to the counties to provide a necessary supplement for the General Assistance program. The funds would be distributed by the counties to households with children having incomes of less than 70 percent of the federal poverty line who are not otherwise eligible for assistance through the first two proposals. This includes families with a recent job loss, were unable to work in the prior year or have major health expenditures. The funds would be available on a one-time basis for emergency needs such as food, prescription drugs, rents needed to avoid eviction, or car repair.

Cost Estimate: Variable, but recommended GF allocation of $300 million.
Need for Immediate Implementation Through Recommended Payment Mechanisms

Given the urgency of the moment, the priority is to quickly and efficiently get cash in the hands of low-income families with children who are in dire need of immediate resources to protect them from the drastic COVID-19 economic downturn. Existing safety net programs such as CalWORKs and Cal EITC are designed to promote self-sufficiency and upward mobility over the long-term, but there are barriers to quickly modifying these programs to provide short term emergency relief.

Many Californian’s experiencing deep poverty are not able to participate in existing safety net programs for various reasons, including citizenship status (which limits eligibility for public programs) and disabilities of parents or children. According to estimates prepared by Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, approximately 80 percent of children in families living in deep poverty do not participate in CalWORKs. Moreover, the emphasis on job training and employment is less relevant in today’s extraordinary circumstance, since near term job prospects are extremely limited.


Join Our L.A. 2020 Campaign Launch with Dolores Huerta & Senator Holly Mitchell

End Child Poverty California 2020 Los Angeles Launch image

NOTE LOCATION UPDATE: St. John’s Well Child and Family Center (Rolland Curtis), 1060 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Let’s celebrate 2019’s End Child Poverty California wins, and get the Plan passed in FULL in 2020! Our families work hard every day. The time to end extreme child poverty is NOW.

Join us on Friday, February 21, 2020, at 10 a.m. to launch our Los Angeles Community Campaign. ==> Click to Register

The Los Angeles launch and press conference will feature civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, Senator Holly Mitchell, and others. In collaboration with the Dolores Huerta Foundation, we’re proud to announce the primary sponsors for this event are St. John’s Well Child and Family Center and Crystal Stairs.

LOCATION: St. John’s Well Child and Family Center (Rolland Curtis), 1060 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Join us at 10 a.m. for snacks and welcome. The press conference will start at 10:30 a.m. and will be followed by neighborhood community outreach. This is a free event.

Help make the L.A. 2020 Launch great:

==> Share the Facebook event page, and mark that you’re interested and/or coming:

==> RSVP and share the Information and registration page.

==> Sign the 2020 petition to our leaders.

==> Retweet and comment on the Twitter event announcement.

==> Download and print flyers to put up:


The End Child Poverty in California campaign is sponsored by GRACE (Gather, Respect, Advocate, Change, Engage) and the End Child Poverty Institute to end extreme child poverty and reduce overall child poverty in California. In close partnership with the Dolores Huerta Foundation, we are working to increase support and community engagement across the state. We invite you to be part of the movement to address the highest child poverty rate in the nation by implementing simple solutions to a complex issue. Read our 2020 priorities.


End Child Poverty CA Movement 2021 Priorities

Child poverty is not a fact of nature. Together, we’ll make sure ALL our children are healthy, fed, and housed.

Before the pandemic we had approximately 2 million children in poverty and 450,000 childrenin extreme poverty. The pandemic has exacerbated the situation for families working hard toget ahead. In 2019 the state budget invested $4.8 Billion in End Child Poverty Plan recommendations and preserved and built on them in 2020. We still have much work to do.

#EndChildPovertyCA 2021 Movement Priorities

  1. Coordination of Services: Continue to improve the cost-effectiveness of programs that support families, focusing on community-based, collaborative, research-based solutions.
  2. Child Care: Improve access and availability to childcare and address the childcare crisisas exacerbated by the Pandemicby adequately meeting the business needs of child careproviders. Child care is a lifeline to keep parents working and families stable.
  3. Housing: Increase overall housing availability and reduce evictions so that children and families don’t face the trauma and stress of homelessness, exacerbated by the pandemic recession.
  4. Health Care: Strengthen and expand community based and school-based health careclinics to meet families where they are so that they can get the care they need. Within anequity framework provide COVID vaccines in high needs communities and ensure healthaccess for ALL families and children irregardless of immigration status.
  5. Safety Net: Continue to expand on the CAEITC the Young Child Tax Credit. Supportefforts to expand Pandemic EBT sothat families can feed their families, during thiseconomic crisis. Increase cash policies so that families can meet basic needs (i.e.,increase SSI payments, UI for ITIN filers, etc.…) 

Download a printable version of the 2021 #EndChildPovertyCA Priorities


The End Child Poverty in California campaign is sponsored by GRACE (Gather, Respect, Advocate, Change, Engage) and the End Child Poverty Institute to end extreme child poverty and reduce overall child poverty in California.  In close partnership with the Dolores Huerta Foundation, we are working to increase support and community engagement across the state. We invite you to be part of the movement to address the highest child poverty rate in the nation by implementing simple solutions to a complex issue. 


#EndChildPovertyCA Statement on Gov. Newsom’s #CABudget Release

January 13, 2020 – On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed 2020-2021 state budget (click for full budget or budget press conference). At GRACE and End Child Poverty California, we look forward to working with our leaders to ensure that a key missing element — the Child Poverty Tax Credit — is implemented this year, as well as other End Child Poverty Plan recommendations. ALL of our children deserve to be healthy, fed, and housed, and they simply can’t wait another year.

Read the statement from our CEO Conway Collis:

“The Governor’s proposed budget is wise in many ways, but fails to lift 450,000 children out of extreme poverty. We need the Child Poverty Tax Credit now. 450,000 children are waiting on Sacramento to fully enact California’s End Child Poverty Plan. We have to make sure it happens.

“California’s children living in extreme poverty are struggling to survive as their families face homelessness, food insecurity, and toxic stress. The lives of these children are at stake. If we don’t act now, they, and state taxpayers, will pay the price for their entire lives, whether through higher child-welfare and foster-care costs, increased homelessness, higher school drop-out rates or lost revenue resulting from unemployment and under-employment.  

“The Governor wisely proposes increased support for families in homelessness, to help keep struggling families in their homes, as well as nation-leading health care measures, in this year’s budget. Those investments build on last year’s transformative increases in health care, tax credits for families, childcare and early childhood education and other End Child Poverty Plan recommendations. 

“This year’s budgetary caution is understandable given recession concerns and potential federal cutbacks. But it is unconscionable to leave 450,000 California children mired in extreme poverty.  These children represent an unaddressed crisis of human suffering that will only add stress to the state’s budget.

“We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature between now and May to further enact the End Child Poverty Plan, including the Child Poverty Tax Credit, which addresses the root causes of poverty, stabilizes families, and ultimately saves California billions of dollars each year. The 450,000 children living in extreme poverty need help now.  Since we have the resources and a cost- effective plan to lift them from poverty, we have an obligation to do so.”

-Conway Collis, President & CEO of GRACE and End Child Poverty California

For more information about the End Child Poverty Plan, visit  https://www.endchildpovertyca.org/#theplan.

Follow us on Twitter for more budget reactions from our #EndChildPovertyCA partners and collaborators.


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