Jan. 8, 2021
Press Contact: Brian Maxey
SAN FRANCISCO – The California Reinvestment Coalition applauds Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2021-22 state budget proposal, which calls for important investments in small businesses, immediate financial relief for low-income Californians, and money for affordable housing.
Unveiled on Friday, the proposed $227 billion budget urges Legislature to approve a $4.5 billion economic stimulus that would send $600 payments to low-income taxpayers as soon as February. The stimulus would also benefit the more than 600,000 Californians who have historically filed taxes using an individual taxpayer-identification number, or ITIN, who are now eligible for the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC).
“The governor’s budget is a strong start in the state’s recovery,” CRC Executive Director Paulina Gonzalez-Brito said. “The call for swift action from the Legislature is meaningful. This action must be coupled with structural fixes that repair and offer restitution for the history of exclusion and inequities Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities have endured.”
The proposal also calls for nearly $575 million in grants for small businesses hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, $2.6 billion in renter relief, and $250 million for affordable housing. Gov. Newsom on Friday also called on the Legislature to extend the state’s moratorium on evictions.
“The governor’s budget does a significant amount to address the immediate concerns of Californians. We also recognize that there is a grave need to address the systems of capital that have historically disenfranchised BIPOC communities. We will need more than a one-time injection of capital to accomplish this, and it will require the governor’s support and leadership to do so,” Gonzalez-Brito said. “The state’s priorities must not only consider a quick rebound from the devastating impact of COVID-19, but it must also act with urgency, purpose, and restitution.”
The state’s Small Business Grant program is a good start.
Recently, CRC urged Gov. Newsom to collect race and ethnicity data in the grants distributed to small businesses. Demographic data should be released publicly prior to the disbursement of the second round of small business grants. The Governor’s Office should work closely with a broad range of advocates and community organizations to evaluate the data and the program to ensure that any necessary adjustments are made so that BIPOC-owned small businesses and other hard-hit communities are receiving the assistance they have been historically denied.
“CRC looks forward to working with Gov. Newsom, Legislature, and stakeholders to prioritize investments in BIPOC communities as we look toward a COVID-19 recovery,” Gonzalez-Brito said.