Sacramento, CA (January 9, 2021) – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California released the following statement today from April Verrett, President of SEIU Local 2015 and SEIU California Executive Board Member, on Governor Newsom’s 2021-22 budget proposal: 

“Today, Governor Newsom echoed the refrain SEIU’s 700,000 members have long been singing: California’s budget must be an instrument of equity and inclusion. While this budget proposal takes meaningful, short-term steps to mitigate the devastation COVID-19 wrought on low-wage frontline workers and communities of color, it does not shift the structural inequality that exists in far too many communities across California, particularly for Black and Brown Californians and immigrants. There is too much illness, too much death, and too much poverty. 

“The frontline workers who are risking their lives in long-term care, educational, social service and health care settings are grateful that Governor Newsom has prioritized vaccine distribution as a state budget goal. SEIU members demanded a budget that protects seniors and people with disabilities from the threat of a 7% reduction in the care they need to be independent through the In-Home Supportive Services program, and Governor Newsom listened. We thank you, Governor, and we urge California’s leaders to permanently remove this ax hanging over the heads of seniors, people with disabilities, and caregivers.

“For families staring at empty pantries and fearful as the next rent payment becomes due, a $600 check and the extension of an eviction moratorium will bring real relief. SEIU members championed inclusion of immigrant families on the California Earned Income Tax credit that underpins the $600 benefit, and we will continue fighting to ensure every system – from education to health care to housing – leaves no Californian excluded on the basis of where they were born.

“We appreciate the Governor’s acknowledgment that Californians can’t get back to work without access to affordable child care; this budget will help to stabilize the child care providers who survived 2020 with little state support. Yet it does not begin to repair the incredible loss of capacity from 6,000 providers going out of business last year, an omission which poses a significant threat to California’s recovery. 

“SEIU members will continue to fight for critical investments in local government services and the state workforce who are essential to our recovery. 

“A budget for broad-based recovery and equity must demand greater contributions from wealthy corporations and the most privileged individuals. We are edging closer to a budget cliff, and without new revenue from the rich, it will be low-wage workers and communities of color who bear the brunt of the fall.”