PHI Statement on the 2024-2025 California State Budget

Statement from Matthew Marsom, Chief Programs, Policy & Government Relations Officer, Public Health Institute

“The Public Health Institute (PHI) applauds the California Legislature and Governor Newsom for including ongoing funding for essential public health programs in California’s State Budget for 2024-2025. 

“While facing a historic budget deficit, and with no easy choices, the final agreement on the Budget Act for 2024 rejects earlier proposals that would have eliminated funding investments in essential public health infrastructure and programs. 

“The final budget agreement: 

  • Protects funding for California’s Cancer Registry, the largest cancer registry in the north America, and a vital public health surveillance tool supporting efforts to research, treat, cure, and prevent cancer. 
  • Rejects cuts to the California Nutrition Incentive Program (CNIP) protecting $35 million in funding for the ongoing operations of the program that encourages the purchase and consumption of healthy, California-grown fresh fruits and vegetables among shoppers participating in nutrition benefit programs such as SNAP, (known in California as CalFresh). 
  • Restores $34.7 million in 2024-25 and $13.7 million in 2025-26 of the proposed reduction to the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative Public Education and Change Campaign, which supports grassroots community-based organizations to increase access to culturally rooted mental health services for queer and BIPOC youth and adults, and also includes youth suicide prevention services. 
  • Invests $4 million at the Department of Health Care Services to fund opioid response through the California Bridge Center, supporting medication assisted treatment which research shows is effectively getting—and keeping—people who use opioids in treatment. 
  • Maintains the majority of funding for the Future of Public Health initiative. While the Budget maintained $276.1 million in investments for state and local public health departments, the reductions of approximately 8% will impact important health equity and infrastructure efforts that are vital to ensuring the long-term health of communities. 

“The pandemic exposed the cumulative impacts of underinvestment in public health, particularly for low-income and BIPOC individuals and systemically excluded communities. The final agreement on the Budget Act recognizes that we cannot go backward on essential efforts to ensure the public health ecosystem can respond and care for people. 

“PHI thanks the legislature and Governor Newsom for their leadership and support to include these investments. This funding will help to ensure that strong public health systems—including both governmental and community-based public health—can be in place to address critical existing and emerging public health issues.” 

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