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AHF to Gov. Newsom: ‘Don't You Believe in Prevention and Preparedness?’

·1 min read

After an unprecedented year in California with widespread fiscal and societal devastation, including nearly 63,000 deaths brought about by the coronavirus, Governor Newsom stumps public health advocates with budget plan for state’s public health programs that does not allow preparation for ALL public health issues

According to the L.A. Times, the Governor’s spending plan instead calls "… for a $3-million study to determine how much public health programs need so that the money can be included next year."

Public health advocates and elected officials are strongly criticizing Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget expenditures for public health agencies in California for the fiscal year starting July 1. According to the Los Angeles Times, the Governor’s spending plan calls "… for a $3-million study to determine how much public health programs need so that the money can be included next year."

Many believe that at least $200 million should be directed to public health agencies this year and there is a push by California State Senator Dr. Richard Pan (D, Sacramento) and Assemblymember Jim Wood (D, Santa Rosa) to get more public health dollars into the budget.

"The governor’s budget proposal on public health shows just how small and out of step his vision is following the widespread physical and financial devastation caused by COVID-19 in California over the past year—including the deaths of nearly 63,000 Californians," said Michael Weinstein, president of AHF. "Instead of cynically handing taxpayer dollars back to two-thirds of Californians in $500 ‘surplus’ checks as if it were his own cash, the governor would be better advised to beef up and fully support California’s public health agencies and departments to prepare for the next pandemic. Governor Newsom: don’t you believe in prevention and preparedness?"

Newsom’s budget proposal also comes at a time when record revenue and surpluses are flowing into state coffers. The taxes and revenue are expected to result in a budget surplus of anywhere from $38 billion to more than $76 billion, depending on how one classifies certain legally required state spending allocations.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210520006123/en/

Contacts

Ged Kenslea, AHF communications dir., gedk@aidshealth.org (323) 791-5526 cell