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Advocates for low-income California immigrants exhaled a temporary sigh of relief as both Assembly and Senate Budget Committees voted to reject the Governor’s short-sighted and damaging proposals to eliminate safety net programs for legal immigrants. Over the past several weeks, Budget Committee members in Sacramento have been meeting with advocates to hear about how these proposals would affect immigrants, as well as the larger programs in which they’re incorporated. For the most part, the Budget Committees have acted in the best interest of low-income working families, seniors and persons with disabilities struggling to make ends meet as we emerge from the worst recession since the Great Depression.

So far, both houses in the Legislature have:
· Rejected the Governor’s proposal to eliminate CalWORKs
· Rejected the Governor’s proposal to eliminate CalWORKs for qualified immigrants during their first five years
· Rejected the Governor’s proposal to reduce by CalWORKs grants by 15.7 percent
· Rejected the Governor’s proposal to eliminate CAPI, the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants
· Rejected the Governor’s proposal to reduce grant amounts for SSI/SSP recipients to the federal minimum, which would also be reflected in CAPI grant amounts
· Rejected the Governor’s proposal to eliminate CFAP, the California Food Assistance Program
· Rejected the Governor’s proposal to eliminate Medi-Cal for qualified immigrants during their first five years and those permanently residing in the US under color of law (PRUCOL)
· Rejected the Governor’s proposal to implement “cost containment” measures in Medi-Cal that included capping beneficiaries’ access to prescription drugs, primary care office visits, and durable medical equipment
· Rejected the Governor’s proposal to eliminate Adult Day Health Care
· Rejected the Governor’s proposal to eliminate funding for the Expanded Access to Primary Care program
· Rejected the Governor’s proposal to increase monthly premiums and co-payments for Healthy Families

In addition to the Legislature’s rejection of many of the Governor’s proposals, Speaker of the Assembly John Pérez and Senate President Pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg have introduced plans to solve the budget deficit by targeting revenue sources that will create and grow jobs, while maintaining services to support families and those who cannot work during hard economic times. Advocates are still analyzing these plans and are optimistic that leaders are talking about making responsible choices in order to close California’s $20 billion budget deficit.

While nothing is certain until the budget is signed, CIPC applauds the actions of the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees, as well as the leaders of each house for supporting options that don’t harm the state’s most vulnerable residents.

CIPC works in Sacramento and throughout Calfiornia to protect and advocate for immigrants and their families. CIPC is a partnership of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and Service Immigrant Rights and Education Network (SIREN).


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