CA Latino Caucus Applauds Funding Proposed for Undocumented Communities in Senate, Assembly Budget Deal
SACRAMENTO – On behalf of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), Chair of the Latino Caucus, and Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), Vice Chair, released the following statements today in response to the agreement reached between the Senate and the Assembly on the proposed 2020-2021 state budget:
“To rebuild our economy, we must pass a budget that invests in vulnerable communities who have been among the hardest hit during this pandemic,” Assemblywoman Gonzalez said. “Undocumented residents call California home and like their neighbors they pay taxes, they are our essential workers and dream of a brighter future. The Latino Caucus has worked hard to make sure this community is prioritized in this year’s budget, and I’m proud of that work reflected in the joint agreement announced today between the Assembly and Senate. The Legislature's proposal ensures the state’s EITC program is accessible to undocumented families with young children, and maintains an expansion of Medi-Cal to all seniors age 65 and over starting in 2022, regardless of their immigration status. These are significant steps towards providing much needed relief to our undocumented community, and it's paramount that the Governor agrees to these necessary program expansions in the budget. We have much more to do—the work does not stop here.”
The Legislature’s budget deal maintains Governor’s January proposal to expand Medi-Cal to all seniors 65 and over, regardless of immigration status, but delays the start date to January 1, 2022. The action includes authority for the Governor to further delay implementation based on ability of budget to afford the cost. It would also allow tax filers with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs) with at least one child six years of age or younger to access the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Young Child tax Credit.
“I am proud of my colleagues on the Latino Legislative Caucus for championing key initiatives aimed at providing fundamental relief to all Californians ravaged by COVID-19,” Senator Durazo said. “In the absence of state unemployment benefits or federal relief funds for the undocumented community, we must do what we can to provide more substantial financial assistance in the form of tax credits and medical coverage to Latinos in California that have been left out of our current COVID response. As essential workers, immigrant communities have been affected the most by the COVID-19 economic shut down. Added to this is the rate of COVID infections for Latinos. Although Latinos represent only 39% of the state population, they account for over 54% of the state’s coronavirus population. There is no better investment than to ensure all populations in California are well equipped to fight the financial and health challenges created by this global pandemic. We need Earned Income Tax Credits and Health4AllSeniors for our undocumented residents today.”
For questions or to schedule an interview with a member of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, contact Sami Gallegos: Samantha.Gallegos@asm.ca.gov