Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after California Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed budget for fiscal year 2020-21:

“Governor Newsom’s proposed budget prioritizes our most vexing challenge to date: the immediate need to house individuals and families in LA County who are experiencing homelessness.

With his FY 2020-21 proposed budget, Governor Newsom conveys an unwavering commitment to combat our homelessness crisis. This budget is a moral statement; his budget priorities underscore the urgent need to assist our most vulnerable neighbors who are experiencing homelessness, including children, single mothers, Veterans, and families who are struggling to find affordable and stable housing.

Homelessness is a complex issue that demands a comprehensive response. This budget proposes over $1 billion to fight homelessness, including the establishment of the California Access to Housing and Services Fund with a $750 million initial investment. If approved, this fund will be used to develop affordable housing units, increase rental subsidies, and stabilize board-and-care homes. I welcome this investment to support our board-and-cares homes that are rapidly closing across LA County due to stagnant State reimbursement rates and rising operating costs. Board-and-care homes serve as a safety net for low-income individuals with complex mental health needs. These homes are often in residential areas, offering people opportunities to recover in a non-institutional setting within their own communities.

This budget is also a humane and necessary investment in the health of our residents. I am pleased that the Governor’s proposed budget includes $695 million to launch an innovative effort to transform Medi-Cal and bolster preventative health care that will lower the cost of health care in the long term. This bold proposal will help improve the well-being of individuals who are chronically unsheltered by expanding Medi-Cal Healthier California for All. Through this proposed expansion, the State would increase funding and resources for tenancy support services, housing navigation services, recuperative care, and targeted rental assistance. This reform will also change how LA County provides behavioral health services by holistically integrating these services with physical health services.

The Governor proposes to provide relief to Californians who are burdened by the rising costs of health care and prescription drugs with the announcement of the establishment of CalRx, a generic drug program, making California the first state to create its own generic drug label. Additionally, the Governor proposes to make the State’s generic prescription drugs available for sale to all residents. The budget also moves the State toward universal coverage and expands Medi-Cal coverage to low-income undocumented Californians aged 65 and above.

The Governor proposes to establish a new Labor and Workforce Development Agency to consolidate and streamline workforce services. The proposed budget would reduce the minimum franchise tax for new small businesses, removing a barrier to entrepreneurship and job creation. As the former U.S. Secretary of Labor, I fully support this investment in our small businesses and in our rising entrepreneurs to bolster economic growth.

I recognize and applaud the fact that the Governor’s proposed budget prioritizes children and families in meaningful ways. For instance, the proposed budget includes reforms with child support payments in order to put families first. These reforms include increasing the amount of child support payments processed through CalWORKs to families. This proposal would ensure child support payments go to those they intend to serve: vulnerable children.

I thank Governor Newsom for investing in a California for All and advancing a multi-prong approach to combat the State’s homelessness crisis. I look forward to continuing to work with the Governor on initiatives that improve the quality of life of LA County’s 10 million residents.”

###

Contact: Rosa Maria Santana, Deputy Communications Director, 213-359-0795 or rsantana@bos.lacounty.gov