Governor Gavin Newsom has submitted his May budget revision to the Legislature, signaling the beginning of the annual budget process. The Governor’s budget builds upon the January budget, which included a host of new investments in CalWORKs, affordable housing, health care and the state earned income tax credit.
The May revision adds new proposals for an expanded child tax credit, additional child care slots, and an end to taxes on diapers and menstrual products. The budget does not include funding to restore massive SSI grant cuts from a decade ago or to prevent seniors and persons living with disabilities from having to pay high share of costs for their medical coverage.
The revision rightly undoes a budget cut from a decade ago by restoring eyeglasses for adults on Medi-Cal. Unfortunately, the May Revision continues to exclude low-income seniors, persons with disabilities, and undocumented adults over age 25 from full-scope Medi-Cal. The Medi-Cal Aged & Disabled income eligibility threshold for full-scope Medi-Cal remains at 122% FPL, meaning seniors and persons with disabilities are subject to a lower income eligibility threshold.
We are happy that the Governor has recognized that our housing crisis requires a multi-pronged approach: near-term interventions for those struggling with homelessness, protections for renters at risk of homelessness, and a simultaneous investment in producing desperately needed affordable housing for those hit hardest by the crisis. To that end, we are pleased to see an increase in funding to cities and counties to address ongoing and increasing homelessness, and an expansion of the eligible uses of those funds.
We look forward to continuing our work with the Legislature and with the Governor to bring the budget and state policies in line with solutions that will lift Californians out of poverty. Those priority investments are not optional if we are truly striving for a California for all.