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Insights: Governor’s Proposed Budget; Human Trafficking Prevention Month

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January 17, 2020

Governor Releases Initial Budget

Late last week, Governor Gavin Newsom released his budget proposal for the 2020 – 2021 fiscal year.

It reaches into virtually every advocacy area tracked by the California Catholic Conference (CCC) including new financial commitments for housing and homelessness, early childhood education, public safety, and immigration services.

The budget proposal:

  • Includes $750 million one-time monies to establish the California Access to Housing and Services fund.  The primary goal is to reduce homelessness by moving individuals and families into stable housing.
  • Maintains 2019 funding levels at $65 million for qualified immigration services, including deportation defense, naturalization, counsel for unaccompanied minors, and other immigration-related legal services.
  • Includes $80.5 million to expand eligibility for full-scope Medi-Cal benefits to all persons aged 65 years and older, regardless of immigration status, no sooner than January 2021.
  • Contains $645 million to improve base funding for special education and $255 million to identify disabilities of children ages three to five. also provides expanded investments ($900 million total) in K-12 learning for teacher recruitment and training initiatives supported by the CCC to help ensure a statewide supply of qualified teachers.
  • Pledges to offer state-subsidized preschool for all low-income four-year-olds by the end of next year, and will add 10,000 more full-time preschool slots this year.
  • Establishes a four-year $1 billion Climate Catalyst Revolving Loan Fund to seed new technologies to reduce the release of carbon dioxide and other emissions, as well as finding ways to capture greenhouse gas so the state’s net release is zero.
  • Contains budgetary allocations to launch and support the newly established Department of Youth and Community Restoration and Youth Offender Rehabilitative Communities to support rehabilitation for young offenders.

For extensive background on these highlights and other budget items, please see our CA Budget Analysis.

 

Join Walks to Celebrate Life

There are several opportunities this weekend and next throughout the state to join other Catholics who will be demonstrating in support of the value and dignity of all human life. It’s not too late to join these efforts.

January 18, 2020

  • OneLife LA Walk for Life will begin its 6th annual walk on the corner of La Placita and Olvera Street in Los Angeles and end at the LA State Historic Park. The program begins at 11:00 am and includes a festival, mass and a young adult “after party.”
  • Redding Walk for Life, hosted by 40 Days for Life – Redding, will embark on its 4th Annual walk from 8:00 am to 10:00 am from Redding City Hall, concluding at Sun Dial Bridge.

January 25, 2020

  • 16th Annual Walk for Life! West Coast will begin at 10:45 am with messages and testimonies, an Info Faire, and a rally followed by the walk at 12:30 pm departing from San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza. There are also additional events in the days leading up the event. Sign up for their newsletter to get all the latest information.

 

National Human Trafficking Awareness Month

Unbeknownst to most, human trafficking is a prevalent crime that takes place in plain sight. In 2010, January was declared National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month to help combat the perception that human trafficking is a thing of the past.

According to the White House, “Human trafficking is a crime that knows no boundaries. By some estimates, as many as 24.9 million people – adults and children – are trapped in a form of modern slavery around the world, including in the United States.”

The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Union of Superiors General have designated February 8 as an annual day of prayer and awareness against human trafficking. February 8 is the feast day of St. Josephine Bakhita, who was kidnapped as a child and sold into slavery in Sudan and Italy. Once Josephine was freed, she became a Canossian nun and dedicated her life to sharing her testament of deliverance from slavery and comforting the poor and suffering. She was declared a Saint in 2000.

Click here for a prayer card for St. Josephine Bakhita.

On February 8, Catholics all over the world are encouraged to host or attend prayer services to create greater awareness about this phenomenon. Through prayer, we not only reflect on the experiences of those that have suffered through this affront to human dignity, but also comfort, strengthen, and help empower survivors.

You can also learn more about becoming a SHEPHERD to educate and combat human trafficking in your communities.

 

Catholic Schools Week Begins Jan. 26

This year, National Catholic Schools Week will be celebrated from January 26 through February 1. Celebrations will include Masses, open houses, and other activities for students, families, parishioners, and the community at large.

The benefits of a Catholic education are well documented.  Studies show that students who attend Catholic school receive a challenging, high-quality academic experience in a supportive environment, with an emphasis on Catholic values and college preparation. 

Click here for more information and daily themes.

 

January 17, 2020
Vol. 13, No. 2