Bonta Responds to the Governor's May Revise
(Sacramento, CA) - Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) issued the following statement after the release of Governor Brown's May Revise of the 2015-16 State Budget:
As the representative of the people of Oakland, Alameda, San Leandro, and the entire State of California, I am committed to providing a quality education to all of our children, building prosperous and healthy communities, fostering economic opportunities, fighting poverty, and protecting our social service safety net.
I was extremely pleased that the Governor included a $380 million Earned Income Tax Creditproposal in the budget. This credit will benefit millions of Californians, lifting countless numbers of men, women, and children out of deep poverty. The Assembly has been pushing for an Earned Income Tax Credit proposal through AB 43, which I am coauthoring with a number of colleagues. It's encouraging that the Governor incorporated this Assembly priority, a critical pathway to combat income inequality and poverty, in his May Revise. While this is an extremely significant and noteworthy step forward, California still has the highest level of poverty in the nation, so there is much work yet to be done.
With respect to higher education, our hard working college students will be given some much-needed relief as the University of California will be freezing tuition for at least two more years, allowing more Californians to take full advantage of the stellar education available through the UC system.
As the Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, I am committed to ensuring that Medi-Cal patients have timely access to health care providers. I would have hoped the Governor had taken this opportunity to address the problems created by California's Medi-Cal reimbursement rates which are among the lowest in the nation. Unfortunately, he did not. Nonetheless,I remain committed to ensuring that all Californians have strong access to high quality health care, including our poorest and most vulnerable Californians.
And as Chair of the Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color in California, while I am encouraged by the Earned Income Tax Credit proposal, I believe we need more targeted support for our most underserved populations. I am committed to working on these approaches with my colleagues on the Select Committee this year.
Further, with respect to early childhood education, I would like to build upon the Governor's proposal to increase opportunities and outcomes for infants, toddlers, and children with exceptional needs by extending those, and other, opportunities to many more of California's children.
The Budget is an intensely negotiated process, and is reflective of how we prioritize our state's values. I am looking forward to working with my colleagues to pass an on-time, balanced budget that properly reflects our collective values.