Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Greetings from Sacramento

The legislative deadline for bills to pass out of policy committees is upon us and many bills are heading to Appropriations Committee and the Floor to be voted on. Most notably, the Nunez and Perata health care bills (AB 8 and SB 48, respectively) have both passed the Health Committees and are in the Appropriations Committees where the fiscal impact of the bills will be considered. These bills both present comprehensive health care reform proposals in response to the governor's health care plan. CIPC is considering all of the health care proposals and working with our allies and policy makers to ensure that a comprehensive plan is enacted this year that improves access to and the quality of health care for all Californians.

Summer is drawing near and that means Sacramento is turning its attention to the budget for the 2007- 08 fiscal year. Last week, the Assembly and Senate Budget Subcommittees discussed NSP, which provides services to folks going through the naturalization process. The Senate approved the governor's proposed $3 million and the Assembly left the item open for discussion. CIPC will continue to advocate for additional resources for Community Based Organizations that have long waiting lists of people who are eligible and eager to begin the path to citizenship.

The Budget Committees are also considering the governor's proposal to increase SSI payments to keep up with the rising cost of living. The Assembly approved the governor's SSI Cost of Living Adjustment while the Senate left the item open to revisit. Also, both houses are considering minor changes that improve the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) which provides aid to some of our state's most vulnerable populations, the elderly and the disabled.

Next week the governor will release his May Revise of the proposed budget. This will color much of the discussion in Budget Committee during the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more updates on the budget and CIPC's annual analysis of the May Revise and its impact on immigrant families.

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