PHI Statement on California Governor’s 2023 Proposed State Budget

Statement from Matthew Marsom, Senior Vice President of Programs, Public Policy & Government Relations

“On January 10, California Governor Newsom released the proposed State Budget for 2023, detailing investment for the coming year as well as proposed reductions and delays in funding. The Public Health Institute recognize that, in a time of unprecedented fiscal and social challenges, the State of California had difficult choices in front of them. We appreciate that the proposed budget maintains the state’s core values and prioritizes our most systematically excluded Californians. Still, even in moments where our state revenues are declining, delaying funding to critical public health investments and programs will impact the health of Californians for generations.

“The proposed budget makes strong and needed investments in important areas, including schools and higher education, the crisis of unhoused people in the state, and the opioid epidemic. We are gratified to see that resources for governmental public health infrastructure have been sustained, along with a prioritization of climate change impacts, including extreme heat and wildfire.

“While the ongoing commitment in these areas is welcome–and necessary–delaying the implementation of other priorities to an indeterminate future point threatens to undermine health and equity. As the budget process continues and the legislature begins its oversight process, PHI will advocate to protect key public health investments including the public health workforce, sustainable food systems, and disease surveillance and dedicated, sustained support for the California cancer registries.

“Community based and non-governmental public health organizations are vital to the public health ecosystem, and continue to be excluded from resources that adequately support their role and leadership; several of the initiatives that would have provided a trickle of funding for these kinds of organizations are now on hold. PHI will continue to advocate for sustained support that recognizes their critical contributions.”

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