Los Angeles, CA – Below is a statement from Peter Manzo, President and CEO, on behalf of United Ways of California (UWCA), regarding the final State Budget signed today:
The final budget signed by Governor Brown today provides significant investments in California families. As a state, we are making good progress towards our ultimate goal of supporting all Californians to be healthy, educated and financially stable.
We applaud the expansion of the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) to working tax filers without dependent children aged 18-24 and over 65, who are still excluded from the federal EITC due to some outdated assumptions about working households, as well as investing resources so that more low-income workers will learn about the CalEITC and be able to access increased free tax preparation assistance. This will enable more hard-working families to keep all of their refunds. In addition, raising the income eligibility for filers with dependents to the 2019 full-time minimum wage of $12 per hour ($24,960 or $16,800 for filers with no dependents) will help combat poverty for children and families. With these enhancements, 700,000 more Californians will be potentially eligible for the credit.
We are very pleased to see the CalWORKs cash assistance grants finally increased by $90 million to increase monthly grants by 10 percent starting April 1, 2019. In addition, $27 million in funding was included for a home visiting initiative that targets parents enrolled in CalWORKs. This program will help create stronger families and healthier children. Further, more families will be able to access childcare as well with $409 million set aside over four years to expand child-care vouchers for more than 13,000 low-income families. These investments are a good start.
We are also pleased with the $500 million that was included to support community programs designed to address California’s growing homelessness and housing crisis. This much needed infusion of one-time funding will target those families and communities that are facing dire circumstances and help develop California’s affordable housing stock. This investment, paired with county and city commitments to getting more children and families in stable homes, will go a long way to improving the lives of thousands of Californians.
UWCA will continue our work in the future with the Legislature and Governor to advance more opportunities to support all of our children, their families, and communities.
United Ways of California improves health, education and financial stability results for low-income California families by coordinating the statewide advocacy and community impact work of 31 California United Ways.
Judy Darnell, Vice President of Public Policy
Peter Manzo, President & CEO