Budget Passes with Unresolved Issues; Dignity and Dementia

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State Budget Passes with Unresolved Funding Questions

Though lawmakers and the Governor were able to agree on a record-breaking $262.6 billion state budget before the July 1 fiscal year began, negotiations continue on the exact level of funding for several items.  Those specifics are detailed in what are called “budget trailer bills.”

Spending on items like drought relief and wildfire prevention will be solidified through these bills – which are now simply placeholder without official language.

Unique to this budget is a surplus, known as the Golden State Stimulus II, which will be allocated in payments of $500 - $1,100 to California taxpayers with incomes of $75,000 or less.

The budget does contain spending on several items of importance to the CCC, including housing and homelessness. It will provide $8.5 billion in new funding for homeless programs over the next two years. It also includes $1 billion in ongoing support for local governments to address homelessness. In addition, an extension was given to the moratorium on renter evictions, which will now end on Sept. 30, 2021.

In what was sometimes a contentious issue, the Governor and Democratic leaders ultimately reached a deal to allocate $1.3 billion to expand Medi-Cal eligibility to all income-eligible Californians 50 years of age and up, regardless of their immigration status. The Governor had pushed to make the eligible age 60 years.

In environmental justice, the spending plan includes $1.47 billion over two years to expand and protect water supplies by protecting drinking water and wastewater infrastructure, supporting local groundwater supply projects and planning, cleaning up contaminated groundwater, support water recycling projects, and installing treatments on drinking water wells. It also expands environmental education and resources and includes $130 million in one-time funding for recycling efforts.

On the restorative justice and mental health front, the Psychiatric Inpatient Program (PIP) will receive $37.7 million this fiscal year for staff positions like clinicians, nurses, custody staff, and administrative staff to provide the comprehensive suite of services.

In early childhood education, a TK-12 education budget trailer bill went into print on Monday that expands transitional kindergarten (TK) to all four-year-olds. Per the trailer bill, the expansion would roll out over the next five years, reaching full implementation by the 2025-26 school year.

 

 

Physician–Assisted Suicide Bill Moves Forward

On Monday, SB 380 (Eggman – D, Stockton), the physician-assisted suicide expansion bill, passed out of the Assembly Judiciary Committee on a 6 – Yes, 2 – No, and 3 – Abstain vote.

Although the bill was voted through, it is noteworthy that our efforts are raising enough questions that several lawmakers decided to abstain from voting on the bill.

SB 380 now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. We are doing all we can to defeat this bill and, with your continued help, will continue to raise enough doubt that will hopefully defeat this bill once and for all. Stay tuned for additional ways to help.  Please continue to call and write your Assembly Member to speak out against this bill.

 

 

Millions of Catholics Needed to Protect Hyde Amendment

The Hyde Amendment, which prevents billions of dollars from being used to fund abortions, is under threat by influential members of Congress, and the USCCB is seeking millions of Catholics to help.

When our government offers a woman a free abortion instead of the resources she needs to care for her baby, it is not “choice” but coercion. Taxpayer dollars would be far better spent supporting women in crisis pregnancies and struggling new mothers so that no woman ever feels economic pressure to have an abortion.

Sign the petition at www.NoTaxpayerAbortion.com to help us reach our goal of having millions of Catholics sign the petition by July 16.  Promote the petition on your social media and forward it to others. Let’s send a message loud and clear that the Hyde Amendment should be protected!

 

Kathleen Domingo Takes Over As Executive Director of Conference