Statement on the 2019-2020 State Budget Agreement
There is much to be pleased about and proud of in the compromise agreement on the budget that the Governor and leaders from the Senate and Assembly have reached, in early childhood education, housing and health, as we discuss further below. But we are concerned that the agreement may fumble a critical opportunity to help low-income families move up.
We are concerned that the package for the California earned income tax credit (CalEITC) remains unresolved. The CalEITC is one of the most effective tools we have for helping California families move out of poverty. Going into conference, the budget proposals from the Governor, Senate and Assembly all called for significantly expanding the, to increase the eligibility of the credit to track with full-time minimum wage earnings as the minimum wage increases, and to provide an enhanced credit to families with young children. Importantly, the Senate and Assembly proposals included providing access to the CalEITC to taxpayers who file with, or whose households merely include, an adult using a federally assigned Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).
Greater Support for Low-Income Workers, Kids’ Early Education, Healthcare & Housing; More to Do to Realize the Promise of California for All
California United Ways applaud the Governor’s bold proposal to expand the California Earned Income Tax Credit by 200%, (an increase from $400 million up to $1.2 billion) and strengthen its impact in fighting poverty —in particular in families with children under 6, where the credit will double from $500 to $1,000 per child. We know that one in three families in California struggle to meet basic living costs, according to our Real Cost Measure study, Struggling to Stay Afloat. The CalEITC and the federal EITC are the most effective tools we have for fighting poverty and helping working families and individuals move up the economic ladder, and reward and promote work. We strongly support the Governor’s proposal to provide a $1000 credit to CalEITC eligible families with young children (aged 0-6) and increase the credit for more families. We are deeply disappointed, however, that the Governor’s proposal continues to exclude many immigrant tax filers and their families who contribute significantly to our economy and society, but file their taxes with a federally assigned Individual Tax Identification Number (ITINs).
Restoring Healthy Start Will Connect Students and Families with Services
Richmond, Calif. — Flanked by leaders of the United Ways of California, the Children’s Defense Fund of California, and Richmond’s RYSE Youth Center, Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) announced her bill, AB 875, to reestablish California’s Healthy Start program to connect children and families with critical services to improve health and academic outcomes and remedy trauma and violence.
"For over 15 years Healthy Start was a proven program,"said Peter Manzo, President & CEO, United Ways of California. "We’ve gone without it since 2007 And that’s 12 years too long. We’re thrilled Assemblymember Wicks is authoring AB 875. And we look forward to working with her and our fellow champions for children, youth, and families to launch a renewed Healthy Start. One whose impact delivers on the promise of California for all."
United Ways of California Joins Amicus Brief Urging Supreme Court to Reject Citizenship Question in 2020 Census:
“It is unusual for philanthropy to come before the Court,” said Peter Manzo, President & CEO of United Ways of California, “but we and our partners want to ensure the Court understands how important accurate Census data are to effective philanthropic and charitable activities, and the harm an undercount in the upcoming 2020 Census will have on philanthropy’s ability to design data-driven investments and solutions tailored to local communities.”
A prime concern is whether the 2020 Census will ask people about their citizenship status, as has been proposed. The Census Bureau’s own analysis suggests that the effects of adding the citizenship question to the 2020 Census would significantly reduce the accuracy of the count. The inaccuracy that would result from this question is especially problematic because the groups likely to be undercounted are central to philanthropy’s mission, including young children, immigrants, low income families, and people in rural areas.
Assemblymember Wicks and Statewide Advocates Call for Reestablishment of Healthy Start Program
Richmond, Calif. — Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) will join with advocates from United Ways of California, RYSE Youth Center, Children’s Defense Fund, and others to announce the introduction of AB 875 to reestablish “Healthy Start.” Health Start, established in 1991 with bipartisan support, was a historic program that gave seed money grants to Local Education Agencies and community partners to address the social determinants of health and comprehensively meet the needs of students and their families. The program, which was cut in 2007 as a result of the Great Recession, helped connect children and families to services related to: dental health, mental health, vision, academic support, job training, violence intervention and prevention, parenting education, and more. Healthy Start 2.0 will build on the positive community-level impacts of the original program by integrating child- and family-facing service systems and emphasizing evidence-based approaches to program access and effectiveness, especially for high-need communities.
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- Coalition Encouraged by Governor’s Support and Expansion of CalEITC | More Than 400,000 New Households Expected to be Eligible
- Governor’s Budget Invests in CalEITC, Kids’ Early Education & Healthcare
- United Ways of California Assists CalSavers to Boost Saving for Retirement by California Private Sector Employees
- California’s 2018-2019 State Budget Provides Important Investments for Low-Income Families