Gov. Brown's proposed budget could help move California toward greater equity and fairness for the communities of color that make up the state's majority, but serious questions remain, reports a just-released Greenlining Institute analysis presented at a state capitol briefing recently.
The briefing, "Filling in the Gaps: The Governor's 2013-14 Budget Proposal and California's Diverse Majority," was co-sponsored by the California Latino Legislative Caucus, the Asian and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus and the California Legislative Black Caucus.
Scheduled speakers included Senator Ricardo Lara, chair of the California Latino Legislative Caucus; Orson Aguilar, executive director of The Greenlining Institute; Carla Saporta, MPH, health policy director at The Greenlining Institute; and Daniel Byrd, Ph.D., The Greenlining Institute research director.
"The governor's proposed budget contains a number of proposals that could move us toward a fairer, more equitable state," said Saporta. "But major questions remain about several provisions, which might do serious harm to the most vulnerable Californians."
The analysis is available online at http://stage.greenlining.org.
Key findings included:
* The governor's Local Control Funding Formula for schools has the worthy goal of aiding economically disadvantaged districts and students, but large variables, still to be clarified, could undercut these good intentions.
* Expansion of Medi-Cal coverage will benefit millions of Californians, two-thirds of whom will be people of color. But cost-sharing by counties could have a significant impact on the many who will continue to rely on county safety-net hospitals and clinics.
* The governor's proposal to give the UC and CSU systems equal increases for core instructional costs ignores the demographic and financial differences between the two systems. The proposed cap on the number of units a student can earn while receiving state subsidies may work to the disadvantage of low-income students of color.
* Continuing cuts to funding for CalWORKs and childcare will cause ongoing hardship in a state whose poverty rate has increased to 16.6 percent of the population.
For more information on the briefing, visit www.greenlining.org.