Look what our allies at Center for Community Change discovered! There is $1.1 BILLION more than the Governor announced just last week! The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) made great suggestions on how to apply these funds to services that have been cut to the bone in earlier budgets and not replaced in this one:
What do we want: We are urging the Governor and the Legislature to expand the recovery to everyone in California.
There is money in the system right now that can give every Californian enough to thrive. We urge you to:
- Use the LAO’s accurate accounting measures of the revenue available. Under the LAO estimates, there would be $1.1 billion more of discretionary resources available for the 2015-16 state budget than the Governor’s May Revision.
- Adjust Proposition 98 by:
- Moving Child Care funding under Prop 98. Prior to 2011 all child care funding (except Stage 1 CalWORKs child care) was funded out of Prop 98. During the recession, child care funding was moved to the general fund. Today Prop 98 has healthier revenues and can sustain child care funding once again.
- Counting additional local property tax revenues towards 98, which could reduce the general fund obligation by $400 million dollars.
- Reflect additional local revenue schools have received from the dissolution of redevelopment agencies since 2012-13, which could make $125 million available for general fund spending.
- Eliminate “aggressive prison spending” in Governor’s budget, and redirect 73.3 million dollars of savings towards cost-effective population reduction strategies.
- Repaying loans from state transportation funds using dollars required under Proposition 2 to go toward debt payments, rather than paying back these loans with General Fund dollars outside of Proposition 2, as the Governor proposes. (State policymakers borrowed from these transportation funds in prior years to help close General Fund shortfalls.) This could free up $186 million.
- Eliminating unaccountable tax breaks and loopholes.
- Passing revenue that forces corporations to pay what they owe in property taxes bringing in 9-10 billion dollars of revenue by 2019.
With these changes, there is enough revenue right now in the May Revise to invest in the programs that Californians depend on:
- Support children and families in poverty by ending the Maximum Family Grant Rule in the CalWORKs program;
- Increasing working families’ access to affordable child care;
- Boosting cash assistance for low-income seniors and people with disabilities on SSI;
- Moving homeless families into permanent housing;
- Expanding health care coverage to undocumented immigrants (SB 4); and
- Restoring In-Home Supportive Services hours to keep people with disabilities living with dignity in their homes
In your Faithful Fridays messages to your elected officials in your home districts, please point to these revenue sources. We can no longer stand by as those who have given up the most to our state's fiscal requirements continue to live in desperation due to these cuts.
If you are unsure how to Take Action, please to to our web page:
Put in your correct information, and the site will take you to your legislator's home pages.
With all this "found money" we can begin the work of restoring the safety net for those whom our society has too often abandoned. For every man, woman, and child still in want, this work we do is essential.