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April 2017

Developments on the federal policy front, along with the interplay between federal and state policies, have remained a focus of the California Budget & Policy Center’s analysis and commentary over the past month. This update highlights some of this recent work, and in the coming months we’ll continue to provide you with the latest on this year’s state budget debate as well as new proposals and actions in Washington.
 
Also, the Budget Center team has been busy delivering invited presentations around the state, discussing how smart policy choices can contribute to broadened prosperity in our state and nationally. Interested in including the Budget Center in your organization’s event or in planning an event in your region? Be sure to let me know.

Steven Bliss
Director, Strategic Communications 
State EITCs Could Help Improve Federal EITC Participation

Senior Policy Analyst Alissa Anderson highlighted new research from the University of California, Irvine, suggesting that state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs), which boost the income of workers with low earnings, could increase the number of people claiming the federal EITC. The lead author of this new research also posits that the California EITC (CalEITC) may increase federal EITC participation even more than other state EITCs, because the CalEITC targets workers with very low earnings, who are probably less likely to be aware of and claim the federal credit.

This is important because roughly 1 million California households do not claim the federal EITC each year, depriving California of nearly $2 billion in federal funds annually. Research shows that the federal EITC is effective in cutting poverty, boosting employment, and it may foster children’s health and development. This recent blog post also pointed out that while the CalEITC has great potential to increase federal EITC claims, improved participation in the CalEITC will need to involve robust and sustained outreach and promotion.
On the Federal Front: Our Look at Some Key Proposals

In an effort to shed light on recent or anticipated federal actions, the Budget Center has put out analyses on a range of issues and what the Trump Administration’s proposals could mean for California. 

Immigration: Senior Policy Analyst Sara Kimberlin looked at recent executive orders on “sanctuary cities” and explained why California is unlikely to face major financial repercussions from the Trump Administration’s threat to withhold federal funds from jurisdictions that do not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement.

Budget Blueprint: Sara also examined President Trump’s recently released budget blueprint — the so-called “skinny budget” — which targets for elimination a variety of critical housing and human services that help individuals and families facing economic challenges.

Child Care: Policy Analyst Kristin Schumacher took a close look at the child care proposal that President Trump had issued during his campaign — and is expected to release in the coming weeks — and highlighted how it would do little to help families struggling to afford care for their young ones.
Southern California Grantmakers (SCG) Public Policy Conference

The Budget Center was proud to partner with Southern California Grantmakers on SCG’s annual policy conference last week at the Center for Healthy Communities in Los Angeles. As part of this collaboration, Executive Director Chris Hoene participated in a plenary panel discussion on the implications for Southern California of federal budget and policy proposals and also led a breakout session on Governor Brown’s proposed 2017-18 state budget. In addition, Director of Strategic Communications Steven Bliss led a breakout session on ways to inform public policy in an “alternative facts” political and media environment. More than 250 people attended the conference. We’re grateful to SCG for the opportunity to partner in planning this event.
 
 
            From left to right: Kim Belshé, Executive Director, First 5 LA; Chris Hoene, Executive Director,
            California Budget & Policy Center; and John Kim, Executive Director, Advancement
            Project California.
 
Where We’ve Been 

In recent weeks, members of the California Budget & Policy Center’s team have spoken at several events around California:
  • Executive Director Chris Hoene joined a roundtable hosted by the California Association of Realtors in Los Angeles to discuss housing affordability and how public policy can play a role in addressing our state’s affordability crisis. 
  • Director of Research Scott Graves joined First 5 Contra Costa in Concord for their budgetary and legislative priorities meeting to discuss what the state budget means for children and families and how federal policies could impact California. 
Where We’ll Be Next

Executive Director Chris Hoene this week will travel to San Diego for the California Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Association’s annual conference, “Engaging Families for Thriving Communities.”  Chris will address what the proposed 2017-18 state budget means for families in his plenary, “What Lies Ahead for California’s Low-Income Families?"

For other upcoming events where you can hear from the Budget Center’s experts, view the list of upcoming events on our website.
Quotable

"We almost never see this kind of change over this period of time, and it was made possible by good policy." 
 
— Chris Hoene at Southern California Grantmakers Public Policy Conference,
discussing California's health care coverage gains
since implementing the Affordable Care Act
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