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Press Statement: Governor Newsom’s Revised 2023-24 Budget Must Continue March Toward Equity, Not Exacerbate Disparities


Media Contacts: Ronald Simms Jr., Associate Director of Communications, 202-270-0936
Elianor Aoun, Communications Associate, 585-404-6906

LOS ANGELES, CA -- Today, Governor Gavin Newsom released his revised 2023-2024 budget as the state faces a $31.5-billion budget shortfall that will impact funding for several major programs. In response, Catalyst California President & CEO John Kim issued the following statement:

“We applaud the Governor for proposing a state budget that commits to transforming education, advancing equity, and addressing disparities facing communities of color despite the grim economic realities the state is currently facing. We look forward to working with the Governor and the legislature to ensure that funds are invested in our state’s highest-need communities and that actions are taken to avoid devastating cuts that would have tremendous impacts on low-income Californians and Californians of color. California is heeding the lessons learned from the Great Recession over a decade ago. Rather than implement spending cuts that will once again harm our most vulnerable communities, we must safeguard our progress, explore other avenues, and ensure an equitable future where every Californian can thrive.” 

“With this revised budget, Governor Newsom can double down on equity for our children and families, particularly Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) who continue to experience the greatest disparities in our education system. We appreciate the Governor’s efforts to refine the Equity Multiplier and its methodology and encourage the state to learn from models that address the holistic needs of students to deepen equity, like the Student Equity Needs Index (SENI) used in the Los Angeles Unified School District.” 

“Governor Newsom’s whole child investments recognize that the well-being of children is inextricably tied to the well-being of families and caregivers, including family fee waivers, CalWORKS Grant increase, and Medi-Cal support through the Managed Care Organization Tax. While we commend the 8.2 percent COLA for childcare providers, California needs a comprehensive approach. It must swiftly advance rate reform by adopting an alternative methodology that reflects the true cost of care and ensures children, families, and providers thrive.” 

Sadalia King, Associate Director of Government Relations at Catalyst California, added, “While the Governor’s revised budget outlines reductions in funding for the Office of Planning and Research (OPR), it does not mention how those reductions may impact the inaugural Racial Equity Commission housed in the Office of Planning and Research  (OPR), which is crucial to address structural racism and promote racial equity throughout our state’s government. Additionally, it does not provide detailed information on climate programs that were present in the budget proposed in January and relies on federal dollars and a future climate bond to pay for crucial climate and transportation programs. Climate investments are much needed in places like the Central Valley and Inland Empire, where BIPOC communities face enduring challenges due to climate-related impacts.”

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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.