Today, California’s Department of Finance announced significant revenue declines in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement makes very clear the need for Congress and the President to immediately pass the proposed relief package for state and local governments.
Any attempt by California or other states to cut programs will lead to immense human suffering, and deepen and lengthen the recession. Cuts will worsen income inequality and harm people who are already most marginalized in our society.
Those disproportionately impacted by COVID and its economic implications — primarily Black, Latinx, and low-income people (many of whom are essential workers on which California relies), are the same people who will be most negatively impacted by state cuts, if that’s the route California takes. That is absolutely unacceptable, and it is not the correct strategy for California For All.
This is an extraordinarily difficult time, and we appreciate the tremendous responsibility the Governor and Legislature has right now. But it is our responsibility at Western Center on Law & Poverty to protect the Californians with the lowest incomes who bear the brunt of the economic burden in this state.
The only priority the Legislature and Governor should have right now is to protect every PERSON who lives here — from the pandemic, from homelessness, from hunger, and from financial ruin. The overall economy comes second, human lives come first.
It’s time for Washington to accept their responsibility and pass state relief now. Congress must enact a fourth Coronavirus response package ASAP, so states aren’t forced to make cuts that will turn this recession into a full blown depression.
California, NO CUTS on Californians in our state budget.