Moira Kenney, Executive Director of First 5 Association, released the following statement in response to the passage of state budget legislation yesterday:
We urge Governor Jerry Brown to sign the state budget passed yesterday by legislators—the best budget we’ve seen for kids and families in years. There is much to applaud, from enhanced efforts to decrease poverty and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), to new programs that directly benefit families and young kids.
The CalWORKs Home Visiting Initiative, for example, will be the first state-level investment focused on positive parenting practices, reducing child maltreatment, and increasing school readiness and family cohesion. Likewise, raising the minimum CalWORKs grant level for low-income families will alleviate the impact of deep poverty on kids and help families make ends meet. Both investments will support and strengthen families—and strong families are the backbone of a strong California.
While this budget is a marker for progress, the reality is that the needs of children and families remain great. With one in five children living in poverty in California, millions on child care wait lists, and one in four young kids experiencing housing instability, we know the world’s fifth largest economy can do better. Thanks to our legislative leadership, this budget is a step in the right direction, and we will build upon this foundation in the years to come.