Bob’s Blog: A Really Good Proposal
It has been observed that a budget is essentially a statement about priorities – whether that budget is for a large corporation, a school, a nonprofit organization, or even for a family. Show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what’s important to you.
And so, it goes with government. Governor Newsom unveiled his “May Revise” proposal that, in combination, attempts to both alleviate Covid-19’s pain and suffering — as well as address some key, ongoing challenges that have vexed our state for some years now.
At The California Endowment, our measuring stick for “a good public budget” is whether it serves to advance health and racial equity and promote a sense of belonging and inclusion for the most vulnerable, marginalized, and struggling among us. And the Governor’s recent revised budget proposal does a good job of asserting a belief in “A California for All.”
Strong messages were sent about the importance of economic and small business relief, preschool and K-12 education, the homelessness and housing affordability crises, infrastructure (like broadband), and the environment. On health and human services, it is gratifying to see a proposed expansion of the state Medi-Cal program for undocumented seniors and increases for behavioral health and mental health services. It will be more gratifying, at the end of the budget process, if local public health infrastructure could be further boosted.
I’ll leave to the political pundits to comment on the “political” implications of the Governor’s proposal, but in the final analysis, the Governor sent a strong and clear message to California’s vulnerable, struggling families and communities: I see you, and I hear you.
Dr. Bob Ross
President & CEO