SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, Governor Jerry Brown released his 2015-2016 revised spending proposal. State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) released the following statement:
The Governor’s proposed budget represents the strength of California’s economy and the importance of investing more money for schools, combating poverty, addressing our drought and integrating New Americans.
I applaud Governor Brown for proposing $5 million in funding to provide application assistance for undocumented Californians eligible for deferred action under the President's executive actions. This funding directly supports the vision outlined in Senate Bill 10, my bill to create the Office of New Americans to address the lack of coordination and resources available for immigrants seeking to obtain legal status. This funding is a good start, but falls short of what is necessary to adequately help over a million eligible immigrants further integrate into the fabric of our communities and economy.
The Governor also recognized what we’ve known to be true all along – the population eligible for the President’s executive actions is also eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal coverage. Once approved, this population, like those eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals before them, will obtain Permanent Residency Under the Color of the Law, or PRUCOL, and be eligible for Medi-Cal coverage.
While the Governor’s budget takes into consideration added funding for this population in the short term, we need a long term fix. I have been a proud champion of Senate Bill 4, the Health for All Act which gets at the heart of this issue. In order to have a truly healthy state, we must invest in the health of all Californians, regardless of immigration status. SB4 will expand coverage for California immigrants who contribute over $130 billion annually to our state’s gross domestic product and generate an estimated $2.2 billion in state and local taxes each year.
The Governor’s budget begins to address the lack of access to health care for undocumented Californians, but it does not go far enough. I look forward to working with the Governor, legislative leadership and community members to continue pushing for increased access to health care for vulnerable communities.