GLENDALE—The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is concerned over Governor Gavin Newsom’s May Revision budget, which proposes significant cuts for local school districts and elimination of critical adult healthcare programs. To that end, the organization has actively engaged with State Legislators and the Governor’s office in addition to sending a letter to Governor Newsom to advocate for full funding of these essential programs.
“We have been closely monitoring and engaging on this matter to ensure that vital services which affect the most vulnerable segments of our community – particularly children and the elderly – are preserved,” remarked ANCA Western Region Chair Nora Hovsepian, Esq. “We are encouraged by the recent news that California lawmakers from both chambers have reached an agreement to maintain full funding for these programs, but our work isn’t done just yet. Our office will continue to actively engage with industry stakeholders as well as State legislators to effectively advocate on behalf of our community and its interests throughout the budget approval process.”
On June 3, Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and Budget Committee Chairs, Senator Holly J. Mitchell, and Assemblymember Phil Ting announced that an agreement was reached between the Senate and the Assembly on the proposed 2020-2021 state budget. The plan would use reserves to avoid overcutting now, while still keeping reserves on hand for the future, and ensuring full funding of K-14 schools, among other priority areas.
Last month, Governor Newsom released the latest draft of California’s budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021. The budget draft calls for the elimination of two critical healthcare programs, the Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) and Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS), both of which provide alternative services to enable older adults from being placed in nursing homes and maintaining their optimal capacity for self-care. In addition, the proposed budget calls for a 10% reduction in funding for K-14 education, which would force many school districts to make painful decisions about maintaining critical staff and keeping vital services for children.
Despite the inevitable constraints imposed on our State by COVID19 and the financial repercussions that the State of California has to face, these shortcomings cannot and should not come at the cost of the most vulnerable citizens of our State. Eliminating adult healthcare programs — especially in the face of an ongoing pandemic — will be life-threatening for seniors, while cutting school funding can have a lasting negative impact on our children and our State in the years to come.
The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region is the largest and most influential nonpartisan Armenian-American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian-American community on a broad range of issues in pursuit of the Armenian Cause.