Vulnerable Californians Put at Risk by Proposed Budget Cuts

Press release Eileen Cubanski

Sacramento, CA – The County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) of California released the following statement from Interim Executive Director Eileen Cubanski today: 

“CWDA is grateful that health and human services programs were largely preserved in Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2024-25 budget proposal, however we are disheartened to see specific social services targeted for cuts. These programs, administered by our member counties, provide crucial support to the most vulnerable Californians. While these cuts may help California’s budget weather a short-term storm, they will have long-term negative impacts for those who depend on our social service safety net and ultimately larger costs for the state in the long run.

“The Governor’s proposal includes the elimination of several critical programs, including the Expanded Subsidized Employment program, which has proved hugely successful in helping Californians transition from welfare to work while also helping small businesses pay their wages. This cut is proposed at a time when people across the state, but especially those who receive our services, are struggling to make ends meet. Now is not the time to make it more difficult for people to work and pay their bills. 

“The Governor’s proposal would also eliminate several crucial programs for families and youth experiencing crisis. The Family Stabilization program provides short term, intensive case management for CalWORKS families experiencing mental health or substance abuse issues, homelessness, or domestic violence, among other things. The Family Urgent Response System provides immediate support to foster youth and families experiencing instability. The Housing Supplement for Foster Youth in Supervised Independent Living Placements helps older foster youth transition to living on their own. These programs all provide direct assistance to vulnerable Californians at a time when the state is seeking to reduce homelessness and step-up mental health treatment. The elimination of these programs is in direct conflict with these broader goals. 

“California’s social service safety net has withstood incredible pressure over the past several years from programmatic changes, to the pandemic, to workforce shortages. Throughout it all counties have worked to serve the most vulnerable among us at the highest level. CWDA urges the legislature to reject any cuts that make it more difficult to deliver help to Californians who need our support, now more than ever.”