Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised California budget proposal Friday drew criticism from progressive policy advocates – even as they praised some of its changes to the state’s health care system.
Chris Hoene with the California Budget & Policy Center strongly disagreed with the governor’s opposition to new spending in the budget. Hoene said the $2 billion Gov. Brown is putting into the state’s “rainy day fund” could be used for programs like child care, preschool and welfare.
“There is certainly more room for making investments in this year’s budget that would help the people who have been left behind by the cuts we have not been able to restore coming out of the recession,” Hoene said.
Mike Herald, health advocate for the Western Center on Law & Poverty, said the most significant proposal is to use $2 billion in future Proposition 63 mental health funding to address chronic homelessness in California. This idea was first proposed by state Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) in January.
“One only needs to step right outside the Capitol, a block away, to encounter the overwhelming number of people who we see living on our streets, and we’re really happy that our government took the step and embraced that proposal today,” Herald said.