“The budget proposal released today by Governor Newsom represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for us to disrupt the health, economic and racial inequities that fueled the pandemic and devastated families and communities across California. The health and human services proposals included in the California Comeback Plan begin to lay the foundation to make this a reality.
“Put more bluntly, we cannot, and will not, go back to a version of normal where a child’s zip code defines their life trajectory, where individuals sleep in cars under freeways, and where families struggle to put food on the table. Today we begin to redefine normal.
“Our vision for a new normal gives all Californians the opportunity to thrive and be part of healthy, equitable communities. It envisions a system where the social services—such as housing supports, food, and childcare—are linked to adequately resourced and available health and behavioral health services. Most importantly, these services are person-centered and address the social, cultural and linguistic needs of the individuals they serve.
“To start, the focus is on changing the life trajectory of our children so they grow up to be healthier and happier. Together with the education reforms that are part of the California Comeback Plan, these critical health and social services investments will provide young people an opportunity to improve their education and strive toward higher paying and more secure jobs. Improved employment options in adulthood will lead to lower incarceration, reduced homelessness and stable, resilient communities.
“More specifically, the California Comeback Plan includes proposals that look to: transform the behavioral health system for children and youth; support vulnerable and homeless families; build an age-friendly state for our older neighbors; advance and innovate on California’s Medicaid program; and provide care to the most marginalized.
“These budget proposals independently help bolster critical safety net programs that support and empower Californians. Taken together, these investments advance the health and well-being of our entire state, promoting economic mobility and overall social stability.
“Finally, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the vast disparities within California’s public health system and its lack of essential infrastructure to prevent disease, promote health, and prepare for and respond to both immediate threats and chronic challenges to the health and well-being of those who call California home.
“The next few months present an opportunity to look at the lessons learned and begin to build a vision for the future public health system. A system that is able to monitor and detect new and emerging infectious and communicable diseases; that is able to quickly respond and mitigate their impacts on individuals, communities and the economy; that plays a broad population health leadership role in areas such as mental health, environmental health and climate change; and that is able to integrate with the healthcare delivery system to create a seamless continuum that includes surveillance, prevention and treatment.”
For more information on the health and human services proposals, check out the:
- CHHS California Comeback Plan Fact Sheet – English
- CHHS California Comeback Plan Fact Sheet – Spanish
- Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative – Executive Summary
- Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative – Memo