Los Angeles, CA – Below is a statement from Peter Manzo, President and CEO, on behalf of United Ways of California (UWCA), regarding the proposed State Budget agreement:
California is the fifth largest economy in the world and is experiencing an almost $9 billion surplus, so while United Ways of California is pleased that the budget agreement between Governor Brown and the Legislature includes more workers in the state earned income tax credit and funding to address the growing housing and homelessness crisis, we also see missed opportunities for smart and much needed investments in healthcare and expanded early child care.
We applaud the extension of the CalEITC to filers aged 18-24 or over 65, who are still excluded from the federal EITC due to some outdated assumptions about working households. We know from our work in communities across the state that the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) is one of the most effective tools we have to combat poverty and lift up children and families, and this change will make a big difference to newly eligible families. But we are disappointed that the Governor and Legislature left out hardworking households that pay and file taxes with an Individual Tax Identification Number. These working taxpayers contribute significantly to California’s wealth and vibrancy and should not be excluded solely due to their immigration status.
Similarly, the lack of investments in health care for low-income Californians who remain excluded from coverage because of their immigration status strikes a disturbing tone for California. UWCA is heartened by the continued leadership of the Legislature in working to achieve “Health For All” in California in the near future.
We are pleased to see $500 million included to support community programs designed to address homelessness – an increase of $250 million from the Governor’s May Revise. This much needed infusion of one-time funding will target those families and communities that are in crisis 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 with the Legislature and Governor to advance opportunity for our children, their families, our communities and our future.
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.
Peter Manzo, President & CEO
Anna Hasselblad, Public Policy Manager