Last week, on the first official day of the new California legislative session, the California Catholic Conference (CCC) joined numerous faith leaders and lawmakers at a press event to introduce several ambitious recommendations aimed at curbing childhood poverty in the state.
The measures are based on the recently released report by The Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force. The Task Force was established by AB 1520 last session and charged with developing a comprehensive, data-based plan that lays the groundwork to end child poverty in California. AB 1520 was sponsored by GRACE and closely supported by the CCC.
“California is the fifth largest economy in the world…and yet we continue to have the highest poverty rate in the nation,” said Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood), who championed AB 1520 last session.
The large press event was attended by eight California legislators as well as approximately 50 faith and business leaders committed to the campaign. The Daughters of Charity, founded by Saint Louise de Marillac and St. Vincent de Paul, are major sponsors of the campaign to end childhood poverty.
Legislators will be introducing bills to carry out the recommendations in the Task Force’s report, which concluded that California must significantly increase funding to strengthen early childcare and development, housing, health care, and the overall social safety net for low-income families. Other bills will create the New Targeted Child Tax Credit and expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and CalWorks programs. In addition, some of the legislation will deal with childcare, health care, and home visits.