The Health and Human Services Network of California, which includes Health Access in its leadership, recently collected signatures from dozens of organizations all across the state urging Democratic legislators to continue to support Governor Brown’s $12 billion revenue package.
Non-profits, health and human services providers, and advocacy organizations from every corner of California signed on to the letter in hopes of encouraging legislators to pass the Governor’s revenue proposals and allow them to go before California voters in the June Special Election.
These modest and reasonable revenues represent the bare minimum that California needs to maintain core government services. Even with these revenues, California’s most vulnerable citizens will still suffer tremendously as the result of $12 billion in dangerous and potentially life-threatening cuts to vital health care and social services programs, including Medi-Cal, CalWORKS, IHSS, child-care and others. Without these revenues, the pain will be twice as bad.
California’s low- and middle- income families started 2011 still reeling from the impact of the worst economic recession in decade. California’s slow recovery has left unemployment still well above 12%, with projections for weak job growth through 2012. Californians’ average household income has fallen, and we expect 2010 data will show more even families fell into poverty over the past year.
Against this context, the deep budget cuts Governor Brown has proposed will be especially dramatic. Failure to reach the Governor’s revenue target of $12 billion would mean even more brutal cuts would have to be made – in turn putting more lives at stake and costing the state thousands of public and private sector jobs. Thus, protecting the critical public structures that California’s low-income families, seniors, people with disabilities and children count on is of the utmost necessity.
An obvious starting point is eliminating special tax breaks for large corporations that have failed to deliver the jobs and economic growth they have promised. The Governor has taken this crucial first step by proposing to eliminate Enterprise Zones, which have been proven time and again to have no statistically significant effect on job creation or growth. This proposal will save California an estimated $924 million this year, and more than $600 million per year thereafter.
Currently, California and Missouri are the only states in the nation that allow multinational corporations to choose how their profits are taxed. The Governor has proposed bringing California up to speed with the overwhelming majority of states in the country by requiring nearly all corporations to use a single formula for assessing how profits are taxed, based solely on the percentage of their sales that occur within California. This will generate nearly $500 million in 2010-11, and nearly $1 billion in 2011-12.
Minimizing cuts to vital health and human services will require new revenues and a critical look at these tax loopholes and others which benefit large corporations but don’t deliver the jobs or economic stimulus that Californians so desperately need. Therefore, the first vital step to getting California back on track must be placing these revenue solutions before California voters in the June election.
You can read the HHS Network’s sign-on letter in support of the Governor’s proposed revenue package, along with the list of organizations signed on, by clicking here.
If your organization would like to sign-on to the letter and join the HHS Network in calling on legislators to support the Governor’s revenue proposals, please e-mail the HHS Network at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Republished from the California Progress Report, posted by
Nancy Berlin, Executive Director, California Partnership
Anthony Wright, Executive Director, Health Access California
Paul Tepper, Executive Director, Western Center on Law & Poverty
Reshma Shamasunder, Executive Director, California Immigrant Policy Center