State budget moves in the right direction

The state budget for 2013-14 has been approved by the Legislature and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. Although the analysis is yet to be finalized, there is good news for working families, despite the conservative estimates that Governor Brown used.

Nearly every area of improvement in the state budget came in areas that we lobbied and rallied for. Our hard work and dedication had an impact and our efforts will help rebuild the State of California.

Highlights:

  • The $96.3 billion budget includes $1.1 billion in reserves, $4.2 billion in debt repayment, and begins the process of stopping the cuts that have crippled services across California.
  • Child care, school funding, in-home support services and courts all got incremental increases in funding. While much work remains in these areas, we have begun to head in the right direction.

Healthcare
SEIU members dramatically moved the debate on healthcare reform and helped create one of the best systems in the country. We succeeded in expanding Medi-Cal to millions, protecting the safety net, restored adult dental care, and made In-Home Support Services available to new Medi-Cal participants. We also protected California by making sure the exchange centers will be staffed by well-trained state and county workers instead of fly-by-night companies eager to outsource good-paying jobs.

Child care
In Child Care and Early Education, we fought hard to restore all cuts made to these vital programs that protect families and help working families make ends meet. While the final budget only includes $93 million of the $257 million we would need to fully restore these programs, we can be proud that we succeeded in preserving these funds that allow working families to continue to work.

Schools
Our work on the Local Control Funding Formula in addition to the work we did on Prop. 30 last fall means that our schools will have a little bit more money to provide the services that our most vulnerable children need to be successful.

Courts
One of our biggest successes was in restoring some of the funds needed to keep our local courts funded. During the past few years, our courts have taken hit after hit in the budget and those issues have been compounded by the fact that much of the allocated money wasn’t making it to the intended targets. This time, we fought for and won $60 million in additional funding and pushed for a system that ensures money that’s intended to preserve the courts and serve the public will be spent correctly. This new language will help prevent boondoggles at the top of the state court system. Not only will the new money be better spent, but the allocations will be more correctly distributed.

For more information, read the Sacramento Bee’s article:
“What’s in the new California state budget?

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