Governor Newsom today announced a $54.3 billion shortfall in the state budget as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The announcement falls only one day after the Building the California Dream Alliance released a comprehensive platform outlining 30 key priorities to eliminate injustices in healthcare, economic opportunity, education and environmental quality that have been exposed and amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In response to Newsom’s announcement, NARAL Pro-Choice California Director Shannon Hovis issued the following statement:
“Over the last two months, California has served as a model for states attempting to navigate this crisis, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made even more glaring the inequities embedded in our healthcare system and economy at large. The last thing Californians need right now is for those inequities to be further exacerbated by cutting funding to essential services.
The federal government has a responsibility to meet this unprecedented moment by protecting our most marginalized communities, who have already been disproportionately burdened by this crisis. To meet the basic needs of the American people, Congress must pass a relief package that sends significant funding to state and local governments.
As California plans for the future, it is imperative that we continue to lead by example when it comes to ensuring that our most vulnerable communities are given the support and resources they need. This includes, at minimum, expanding paid leave for workers, removing cost-sharing for essential healthcare services — including abortion care — and repealing medically-unnecessary requirements such as physician supervision for nurse midwives.”