The Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC) applauds the CA Legislature’s approval of historic public health measures in the 2021-22 budget vote
Today, The California Legislature approved historic, forward looking investments in public health in the 2021-22 California State Budget. The Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC) is encouraged to see investments in COVID-19 relief to equitably address the disproportionate impact on Latinx communities, as well as measures to address the upstream factors that lead to negative health outcomes in Latinx communities. Latinxs have been some of the hardest hit by this pandemic in terms of jobs, housing, and especially by disproportionate COVID-19 cases and deaths. The inclusion of the Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund in this budget will help communities determine solutions that will help address some of these factors by establishing and distributing grants to community-based organizations, clinics and tribal organizations to address health disparities through equitable and sustainable interventions to prepare for the next public health crisis.
The Legislature has demonstrated a commitment to protect essential safety net programs and declare that healthcare, and access to food, is a universal right. Some of the measures that will improve public health outcomes for all Californians include:
- $100 million annual funding for the California Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund that will tackle the upstream factors to improve health outcomes for the most impacted communities by funding community-based organizations, clinics and tribal organizations
- $200 million in annual funding to help rebuild and strengthen our public health system
- $35 million for Public Health Workforce Development
- $1.3 billion towards Health4All/Heath4AllSeniors to cover seniors 50+, regardless of immigration status, under Medi-Cal
- $550 ongoing for Food4All, which expands CalFresh to all Californians, regardless of immigration status
- Included in the $776 million Sustainable Agriculture package is $20 million in funding for the Healthy Corner Store Refrigeration Program
- $175 million General Fund for various programs to support survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, human trafficking and forced sterilization, including Latinas who were forced into sterilization
- Increased supply of vaccines and equitable dissemination, including targeted outreach
- Funding for Community-Based Medi-Cal Enrollment Navigators
- Increase/Maintain full Oral, Mental Health, and Behavioral benefits and services
- Maintains the Diabetes Prevention Program and other essential programs such as Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) and Songbrown Program.
- Maintains Proposition 56 Supplemental Payments
- Telehealth Funding Investments
- Additional investments for housing support and assistance programs
- Financial support for undocumented individuals and farmworkers
- Increase Calfresh Benefits and School lunch programs
- Approval of Investments in Climate Resilience and Emergency Preparedness
This year’s unprecedented $75 billion dollar surplus provides us a unique opportunity to invest in health equity, racial justice, and sorely needed programs and infrastructure that will set us on a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable path for generations. We applaud the legislature for meeting this moment of great challenges with a plan to build back for all Californians.
“This budget calls on the Governor to consider the future of health equity in California for all. We have been advocating for innovative public health solutions that will help communities become more resilient in the face of future public health crises. The legislature has turned its head towards addressing the issues not only caused by the pandemic, but also the factors that lead to disproportionate health impacts on Latinx communities, and other communities of color. As we heal from this crisis by ensuring equitable vaccine distribution and expanding valuable safety net programs, we can also take steps to heal our public health infrastructure and keep Latinx Californians, farmworkers, and undocumented families from bearing the brunt of emergencies like this in the future.” Said Dr. Jeffrey Reynoso, Executive Director at the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California
The California legislature has handed the Governor a unique opportunity to fund community based solutions to improve public health infrastructure and create systematic change. We call on the Governor to support this historic budget and expand it where possible to ensure equity and justice throughout California.
Founded in 1992, the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California (LCHC) is the only Latinx-led statewide policy and advocacy organization protecting and advancing Latinx health equity. We are a cross-sector coalition of community leaders, advocates, policy advisors, administrators and providers united by our common belief in protecting Latinx health and advancing health equity for all. Our work consists of community-centered programming, policy and advocacy development, and strategic communications.