Legislators Reach Budget Deal; Long Beach Leaders React • Long Beach Post

Legislative leaders reached a budget deal today for $117.5 billion, including $40 million to cover the healthcare of immigrant children throughout California through Medi-Cal in 2016 and additional funding for day cares and state schools, including California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).

State Senator Lara announced his approval of the budget, specifically regarding his initiative to fund healthcare for 170,000 immigrant children, which will expand from the $40 million allocated in 2016 to $132 for a full implementation in the years following.

“Today is a major step forward on the path to achieving health for all!” Lara said in a statement. “On behalf of 170,000 children in California who will now have access to health care, I want to thank Governor Jerry Brown, Speaker Toni Atkins, and the president Pro Tem Kevin de Leon for their visionary leadership on behalf of all California families.”

Components of Lara’s SB4 bill still need to be explored, including the creation of infrastructure to allow adults to receive a waiver from the federal government to enter into the exchange as an undocumented resident, according to a release from Lara’s office.

CSULB President Jane Close-Conoley said the budget’s $59 million more for the California State University system, compared to Governor Jerry Brown’s revised May proposal, was a boon to the system’s 23 campuses and the communities they serve. 

“Nearly 65 percent of Cal State Long Beach’s 300,000 alumni live and work within 35 miles of our campus, providing a wealth of knowledge to every segment of the greater Los Angeles and Orange County economies, capacity for innovation, artistic accomplishment, health care and civic engagement,” Conoley said in a statement.

Assemblymember Anthony Rendon celebrated the budget’s expansion of child care to “nearly 14,000 additional children.”

“As a former executive director of Head Start programs, I saw the devastating cuts made during the Great Recession to licensed childcare providers,” Rendon said in a statement. “These reinvestments will ensure providers have the resources to serve kids during critical times for childhood development.”

Senator Tony Mendoza commended the budget’s new allocations to the Rainy Day Fund ($1.9 billion), as well as the budget’s funding for schools.

“Specifically, the budget includes billions more than last year for K-12 and community colleges, provides more funding to CSU and UC, and invests in our young people by providing more CalGrant scholarships to attend college,” Mendoza said in a statement. “We know that providing an affordable quality public education for our children is vital to our state’s future and economic prosperity.”

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