FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, May 13, 2022
Anna Hasselblad, Public Policy Director
United Ways of California
Governor Newsom's proposed May Focuses Economic Relief for Car Owners; United Ways of California Urges Targeted Child Tax Credits, Relief, for Struggling Families, and 2-1-1 System Services
United Ways of California supports the financial scope of the Governor’s proposed May Revise investments, however, notes that relief that does not target families that are struggling the most to get by misses a critical opportunity to invest in data-driven interventions.
(Los Angeles, CA) — Statement from Peter Manzo, President and CEO of the United Ways of California, (UWCA) regarding Governor Newsom’s proposed May Revise budget:
With California’s current revenue surplus exceeding $97 billion, Governor Newsom has an incredible opportunity to work with the California State Legislature to make targeted investment in what we know works to uplift California families, struggling with the rising cost of living. While we agree with the Governor that the economic realities so many Californians face require robust investments, we differ somewhat on the approach. We support the proposed $2.7 billion investment in rental relief and $1.4 billion proposed for helping Californians address past due utilities, as it is imperative that we keep as many families safely housed as possible. However, we also urge a refocusing of at least a portion of the $11.5 billion for car owners to instead be used via proven pathways for targeted assistance, drawing from our state’s experience with the Golden State Stimulus, California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), and Young Child Tax Credit. These credits hit the sweet spot - they are the most targeted and effective way to reduce poverty, help families deal with inflation, boost local economies, and improve lifelong results for children.
Last year, in the midst of the historic public health and economic crisis, the expanded federal Child Tax Credit payments cut child poverty dramatically in California by over 33%. Now that the expanded federal Child Tax Credit has expired, 1.7 million Californian children are falling back into poverty or deep poverty. The takeaway from this is clear, California needs to step up to ensure that children and families on the brink of poverty are prioritized first. Relief based on household earnings and family size is one of the most effective and equitable ways to target these funds. We urge the Governor to ensure that investments like the ones outlined in the Senate Budget Plan and held within AB 2589 (Santiago) are included in the final budget deal negotiated in the coming 6 weeks. We have a rare opportunity to make a big down payment on future prosperity by expanding the CalEITC and Young Child Tax Credit, and the Governor and Legislator should include this in any economic relief.