Ned Dolejsi, executive director of the California Catholic Conference, released the following statement today concerning the Governor’s “May Revise” of the proposed 2014-15 State Budget:
“Two concepts seem to dominate Gov. Brown’s revised budget today: prudence and optimism. Prudence, because while the state’s budget outlook is the best it’s been in years, the recession isn’t over for everybody; and optimism, because we finally have the resources to begin making smart investments in California’s future.
“As the recession wanes for many Californians, the Governor can consider supporting those who were most devastated during the recession and have the furthest to go until they participate in the recovery. For instance, a very reasonable and cost-effective re-introduction of the Naturalization Services Program (NSP) would bring more than 2.5 million eligible people out of the shadows and into the ranks of American citizenship as full members of American society.
“A very wise investment in the future of California could be made by strengthening the Cal Grant program. Just a minimal increase in student loans and grants could more than double or triple the lifetime earning power of our citizens.
“The Governor could also answer his own challenge to look for new and innovative ways to support education by offering tax relief and other incentives that can empower parents (as well as teachers) to care for their own school children's learning needs, inspire greater charitable contributions to expand local resources in K-12 education, and encourage greater savings for kindergarten through college.
“There are many demands on a recovering budget. The California Catholic Conference urges the Governor to care first for those with the greatest needs. He should also reexamine destructive practices such as the public funding for abortions, which end a life and run contrary to public sentiment. Taxpayers aren’t given a choice about funding abortions.
“But it is an encouraging start and we hope the Legislature responds to Gov. Brown by funding some of the low risk/high return public investments we’ve identified that could pay handsome rewards to California for years to come.”