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February 2017

The team at the California Budget & Policy Center is busy on various fronts this month. Following on the January release of our popular “first look” analysis of the Governor’s proposed state budget, we’ll be putting out additional analyses that go in-depth on his proposed spending plan, especially its implications for low- and middle-income Californians. This is all set against the backdrop of major looming policy shifts, and the prospect of deep spending cuts, at the federal level, another focus of our current work.

Federal and state policy issues are in many ways closely linked. And that interplay will be a major theme on Thursday, March 2, in Sacramento when we once again bring together hundreds of people from around the state for Policy Insights 2017, our annual conference. Additional details are below, and be sure to register by February 13 to take advantage of the early-bird rate. Hope to see you there!

Steven Bliss
Director, Strategic Communications 
Don't Miss Policy Insights 2017 Next Month

We hope you'll join us for our annual conference, Policy Insights 2017, where hundreds of policymakers, advocates, business and community leaders, and others will gather to discuss how our state can expand economic opportunity for low- and middle-income Californians.

In light of the great uncertainty at the federal policy level and funding cuts likely coming from the Trump Administration and Republican leaders in Congress, Policy Insights 2017 will feature two plenary sessions focused on the federal landscape. Keynote speaker Heather Boushey of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, author of Finding Time: The Economics of Work-Life Conflict, will discuss how emerging or expected federal policy proposals might affect working families' financial and overall well-being. Another plenary session will discuss what the federal budget and policy outlook could mean for California and state policy. This session will feature
Kim S. Rueben of the Urban Institute and Nicholas Johnson of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Policy Insights 2017 will also offer timely sessions on climate change, universal basic income, health care, criminal justice reform, tax and budget policy, senior poverty, child development, education, and communicating for social change. Among the speakers are Senator Holly J. MitchellAssemblymember Phil Ting, Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Scott KernanCenter on Budget and Policy Priorities' Edwin ParkPOLITICO's Carla Marinucci, Hillary Hoynes of the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and others.

Our "First Look" Analysis of the Proposed State Budget

On January 10, Governor Jerry Brown released his proposed budget for 2017-18, the state fiscal year that will begin on July 1. A few days later, the Budget Center released our  "first look" analysis of the Governor's proposal. This report summarizes the budget's key provisions and their implications, while highlighting the uncertainty California faces with looming federal actions. As part of our Policy Perspectives Speakers Series, the Budget Center on January 18 held a budget briefing webinar to discuss key issues that will shape this year's budget debate. Click on the image below to watch the recording. You can also download the webinar slides.

        
Four New Fact Sheets Highlight What's at Stake for California with Federal Policy Changes

In anticipation of major shifts at the federal level, the Budget Center has published four Fact Sheets that highlight what such cuts might mean for communities throughout California. These new analyses examine:  
  • Poverty rate by Congressional District, showing that even several years after the end of Great Recession, many parts of the state still face widespread economic hardship.This analysis also shows that in the vast majority of congressional districts, the poverty rate has risen since 2000. 
  • CalFresh Participation by County, showing that 4.3 million Californians receive food assistance through the state's version of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In well over half of all counties, more than 1 in 10 residents participate in CalFresh.
            
  • SSI/SSP Participation by County and Congressional District, showing that Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment grants reach 1.3 million people across all parts of California.
In the coming weeks and months, the Budget Center will continue to weigh in on major policy proposals at the federal level and what they could mean for low- and middle-income Californians.
New to Our Team: Sara Kimberlin
 
We're happy to share the news that Sara Kimberlin has joined the Budget Center as a Senior Policy Analyst. Sara has more than 15 years of experience in California in the fields of policy analysis, social science research, human services, and housing. She came to the Budget Center from the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, where she continues to be an Affiliate. At the Center on Poverty and Inequality, she conducted research and analysis of poverty trends, safety-net programs, and policy proposals intended to improve outcomes for low-income families and individuals. Sara holds a Ph.D. and master's degree in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor's degree from Harvard University. 
Where We've Been and Where We'll Be Next

Executive Director Chris Hoene recently spoke at Rise Together's Opportunity Summit in Oakland, which brought together leaders and activists from all nine Bay Area counties to discuss how to create shared prosperity for all. Chris served as a panelist for the session "The Post-Election Policy Landscape," moderated by Lenny Mendonca, Director Emeritus at McKinsey & Company, and also featuring Jessica Bartholow of the Western Center on Law & Poverty and Michael McAfee of PolicyLink.

Budget Center staff have also provided briefings at events sponsored by the First 5 Association, Southern California Leadership Network, East Bay Economic Development Alliance, and various convenings of child care, child welfare, and health policy advocates.

In the coming weeks the Budget Center will host/co-host a series of briefings on the Governor’s proposed 2017-18 budget in San Francisco, Riverside, and Los Angeles. For more information, follow our events page on our website.
Quotable

"Over several decades, and in particular since the end of the Great Recession, job creation at lower wage levels is actually occurring at even lower wages, adjusted for inflation, at the same time that we're concentrating wealth at the very high end."
 
— Chris Hoene 
Budget Center Executive Director
KALW Radio, San Francisco
February 2
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