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California's Proposed 2023-24 Budget Must Continue our Progress Towards Equity

gavin newsom

Press Contacts
Ronald Simms Jr., Catalyst California, Senior Communications Manager, 202-270-0936

LOS ANGELES, CA — Today, Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed 2023-2024 budget as the state grapples with a projected budget deficit of $22.5 billion for the coming fiscal year, a sharp turnaround from last year’s $98 billion surplus. Catalyst California’s President and CEO, John Kim, delivered the following statement:

“We commend Governor Newsom for proposing a state budget that prioritizes equitable funding for our state's youngest learners, addresses serious issues facing our Early Care and Education (ECE) providers, and strengthens the state’s commitment to racial equity with funding for the Racial Equity Commission. With continuing uncertainty on California’s fiscal situation, we look forward to working with the governor and the legislature to ensure that budget funds reach our state’s historically highest-need communities – low-income and communities of color – including the potential to leverage our strong reserves.

“Despite the deficit and stark departure from previous years’ budgets, Governor Newsom’s proposal underscores a commitment to equitable opportunities for California’s students by including $300 million to support a Local Control Funding Formula Equity Multiplier.  We will work with the governor and legislature to ensure these dollars are equitably targeted to the highest-need school sites in the state. While we are pleased to see that the budget takes initial steps in the rate reform process by moving towards an alternative methodology that better reflects the true cost of care, it is critical that the state prioritizes and fully funds a single reimbursement rate structure across the ECE mixed delivery system.   

“This proposed budget provides millions in funding for the Governor’s Executive Order establishing the Racial Equity Commission. The Commission builds on the work of SB 17 (2021) by Senator Richard Pan and will produce a statewide Racial Equity Framework consisting of resources and tools to address structural racism and promote racial equity throughout our state’s government. 

“However, the budget delays funding of several major programs and, crucially, makes significant cuts to climate and transportation spending that is much needed in places like the Central Valley and Inland Empire. Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities face enduring challenges due to climate-related impacts. We must ensure that these communities’ needs are not overlooked, as they have so often been in the past.  

“California has weathered economic downturns, and we will do it again. Our state leaders must safeguard our progress over the last few years toward an equitable future where all Californians can thrive.” 

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Catalyst California (formerly Advancement Project California) advocates for racial justice by building power and transforming public systems. We partner with communities of color, conduct innovative research, develop policies for actionable change, and shift money and power back into our communities.