HEALTH BUDGET CUTS UPDATE & ALERT

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

LEGISLATIVE SUPPORT GROWS FOR UPPER TAX BRACKET RESTORATION

The Budget Battle Begins…

ALERT: Please THANK the legislators who have taken a stand for upper tax bracket restoration and a balanced solution to the budget crisis. We need to reinforce their support as we go after other potential supporters.

SENATE REPORT: On Tuesday, the Senate voted on AB 428, a bill that raises $4.7 billion in revenues, through upper tax bracket estoration, a tobacco tax increase and other items. The bill did not include the vehicle license fee restoration. It did restore funding to everal specific proposed cuts, including selected cuts to Medi-Cal providers and the Healthy Families program.

The vote was along party lines, with all Senate Democrats voting for the bill. Since no Republican voted for the bill, it did not pass. We expect the issue to be reconsidered.

The Senate came out with several trailer bills, including AB 442, the Omnibus Health Trailer Bill, which has 67 items detailing the recent decisions of various budget committees.

ASSEMBLY: On Wednesday, a solid core of 19 Assemblymembers detailed their support to upper tax bracket restoration in a press conference. Below is a description from Assemblywoman Wilma Chan’s office:



California Assemblymembers Call for Taxing the Wealthy to Close State Budget Gap

$3.1B Will Prevent Severe Cuts to Health and Education

June 26, 2002

Info: Rachel Richman, Assm. Wilma Chan, 510-286-1670

Today, 19 members of the California Assembly endorsed a plan to help close the $23.6 billion state budget gap by restoring higher tax brackets to the wealthiest Californians. The legislators include both moderate and progressive members and representatives of urban, suburban and rural areas stretching from one end of the state to the other.

A similar approach to solve the budget deficit was taken by the Wilson administration and the Legislature in the early 1990s, and by previous Legislatures.

“With a budget deficit as big as the one facing California, we all have to share in the solution,” said Assemblywoman Wilma Chan (D-Oakland) who organized the press conference. “It is only reasonable that the wealthiest Californians contribute a fair share.” Chan noted that with federal tax cuts enacted last year, most high-end taxpayers will still end up with a net decrease in their state-federal tax bill.

The revenues raised by the tax reinstatement will help fund a number of programs recently restored in the budget by the Senate-Assembly Budget Conference Committee, including funding for high priority schools, Healthy Start school programs, expansion of Healthy Families health insurance, funding for emergency rooms, a small cost-of-living increase for the aged, blind and disabled (SSI/SSP) and increased fire protection.

Under the proposal, to be voted on by the Assembly on Thursday, individuals earning more than $130,000 in taxable income and couple earning more than $260,000 in taxable income will see their tax rates increase slightly. About 2.5% of Californians will be affected by the tax.

Among the members attending the Capitol press conference today or signing on to support the reinstatement are:

> * Assemblymember Wilma Chan (D-Oakland)

> * Assemblymember John Dutra (D-Fremont)

> * Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg (D-LA)

> * Assemblymember Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego)

> * Assemblymember Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto)

> * Assemblymember Helen Thomson (D-Davis)

> * Assemblymember Paul Koretz (D-Hollywood)

> * Assemblymember Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park)

> * Assemblymember Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara)

> * Assemblymember Joe Nation (D-San Rafael)

> * Assemblymember Rod Wright (D-LA)

> * Assemblymember Dion Aroner (D-Berkeley)

> * Assemblymember Fred Keeley (D-Boulder Creek)

> * Assemblymember Dennis Cardoza (D-Merced)

> * Assemblymember Virgina Strom-Martin (D-Duncan Mills)

> * Assemblymember Manny Diaz (D-San Jose)

> * Assemblymember Patricia Wiggins (D- Santa Rosa)

> * Assemblymember Gil Cedillo (D-LA)

> * Assemblymember Carole Migden (D-SF)

Rachel Richman

Chief of Staff

Assemblywoman Wilma Chan

ALSO ATTACHED: Another good press release from PICO decrying Assemblyman’s John Campbell’s comments about “bread, water, and shelter.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Paty Madueño, OCCCO- 949- 689-8817

Alma Vergara Marquez, OCCCO- 714-931-6051

June 20, 2002

Orange County Religious Leaders Travel To Sacramento to Discuss Assemblymember Campbell’s “Bread, Water and Shelter” Proposal

Today, Orange County religious and community leaders will travel to Sacramento to meet with Assemblymember John Campbell (R-Irvine) and to discuss his proposal made in the Budget Conference Committee yesterday that state elected officials only concern themselves with providing families with “bread, water and shelter.”

Mr. Campbell put forward his “bread, water and shelter” theory to explain why he was opposed to government funding that provides health services to low-income working families. Over the last two weeks, Assemblymember Campbell has proposed a series of massive cuts to health care for working families, including the elimination of the Child Healthy and Disability Prevention Program that provides health services to 2 million low income children, funding for primary care clinics, and reductions in MediCal eligibility.

“Our assemblymember is clearly determined to make thousands of families in his district sicker and poorer,” said Paty Madueno of St. Joachim’s Catholic Church in Costa Mesa. “Our parish has over 3,000 families. Our families work and pay taxes. Few receive health insurance from their employers. Our families need MediCal, Healthy Families, and community clinics,” said Madueno.

On June 7, Father Robillard, pastor of St. Joachim, and Mrs. Madueno invited Assemblymember Campbell to visit their community and to meet with families whose health and well-being depend on the health programs he has proposed to cut. Mr. Campbell’s district staff have indicated to St. Joachim’s that he will not be available to meet with them for at least one month. For that reason, St. Joachim’s leaders chose to travel to Sacramento today to issue a personal invitation to Assemblymember Campbell in the State Capitol.

St. Joachim’s is a member of the Orange County Congregation Community Organization (OCCCO), a faith-based community organization made up of 14 churches representing 34,000 families in Orange County, and the PICO California Project, a statewide network of faith-based community organizations

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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