Sen. Holly J. Mitchell of Los Angeles, Chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee, brought home significant resources to her district and surrounding region, as part of the 2019-20 state budget signed today by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“Our budget is a statement of values” Mitchell said, “and California’s new $215 billion spending plan invests in our people. Our state faces complex social and economic challenges that require substantive policy and funding solutions. I’ve listened to the people in my district, they want to see savings balanced with investments that reflect their needs. The budget balances the trifecta of paying off past debt, increasing money in the reserves to reduce potential harms from a recession, and investing in people and systems so that government can create opportunities for its citizens to thrive.
Mitchell continued to share “When we allocate funding to address unifying issues like homelessness, limited access to healthcare and insurance, and inequities in obtaining an education; we avoid making our communities pay for it later at a much higher cost.”
The 2019-2020 budget reinforces the safety nets designed to protect our most vulnerable populations. The following is a breakdown of the local impact the budget will have on residents throughout the 30th Senate District and broader Los Angeles region.
Affordable housing and poverty prevention for Los Angeles is at the epicenter of growing homelessness in California. Mitchell’s largely South L.A. based district needs more affordable housing. To address this, the new budget earmarks almost $2 billion to local jurisdictions for assessing housing needs, mixed-income loans, tax credits and infrastructure. In addition, another $1 billion will go to help cities combat homelessness.
As part of Mitchell’s longstanding commitment to removing the barriers that push families into poverty, the new budget provides increases in CalWORKs grants –of which 120,000 families in Los Angeles rely on for basic living necessities like housing. This year, she fought to increase nearly 25 percent.
Early childcare education 10,000 more children will be able to access preschool with the increase of $125 million. This new budget also makes significant increases for K-12 education, with $2 billion in additional funding for the Local Control Funding Formula – a partnership between school districts and parents that is focused on improving student outcomes.
For arts and culture, Mitchell secured $10 million to the Destination Crenshaw Project where the iconic Crenshaw Boulevard in South Los Angeles is a canvass and anchor for public art and streetscape design. She ensured and another $11 million to support the restoration and expansion of museums in Exposition Park, this includes The Museum of Natural History, The California Science Center, and The California African American Museum.
Other local beneficiaries include the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, the Korean American National Museum, and the South Los Angeles Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science.
For health, Mitchell has been pivotal in expanding the Black Infant Health program. This year’s budget includes $25 million for home visits and resources to address the health disparities that impact black infants.
The realities of hard working families in Los Angeles and throughout California continue to inform and shape the spending plans for the state. This is evident in the 2019-2020 budget, which reflects a strategic and bold investment in the general welfare of our state and its people. “With this spending plan, California is not moving on but moving forward to help all of its residents” shared Mitchell.
Mitchell believes that working families must benefit from tax investments. As such, the budget includes a significant expansion to the California Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The total EITC program will grow to almost $1.2 billion. In Los Angeles County this could potentially help nearly 1 million tax filers.
Efforts at the federal level threaten to disenfranchise many residents. To help ensure all residents are counted in next year’s Census, and that California gets the representation and billions in federal funding it deserves, the budget plan includes more than $80 million for critical and robust Census 2020 outreach. This money will be used to reach California’s hard-to-count populations. In Los Angeles County alone, there are over 1 million residents who could potentially not be counted without this outreach.