State Budget Priorities


State Budget Priorities

Each year, CWDA works with its Board of Directors and its committee members to set budget priorities that will improve the well-being of children, families and individuals served by the human services system and to align public policy with the needs of populations and communities across the state.

Click on the sections below to find an overview of our budget priorities, periodic budget updates and more specific information on budget priorities contained in budget memos and fact sheets.


Child Welfare Services: Serving Foster Youth With Complex Needs

The County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) and Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC) urge the Legislature to support foster children who are highly traumatized and have complex needs. CWDA and CPOC are jointly requesting $63 million on-going General Funding (GF) to stabilize foster youth and youth at risk of foster care with acute and complex needs, to better enable California to realize the goals of the Continuum of Care Reform (CCR) effort, as adopted pursuant to AB 403 (Stone, Ch. 773, Statutes of 2015).


Workforce Proposal Budget Memo

The County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) respectfully requests $35 million General Fund (GF) to increase recruitment of human service workers to meet the growing demands to provide safety-net services and economic supports to California’s children, youth, families, older adults and persons with disabilities.


Emergency Services and Disaster Response Support

The County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) requests your support for $141 million General Fund (GF) in 2023-24 and $130 million GF annually thereafter to provide funding and resources to bolster county human services departments’ emergency services and disaster preparedness and response.


In Home Supportive Services: Increase County Administrative Funding

The County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) respectfully requests an additional $240.2 million General Fund (GF) for county administration of the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Program to address critical and longstanding underfunding of IHSS program operations. This funding is needed to ensure IHSS social workers have manageable caseloads to perform essential functions of the IHSS program that enable older adults and persons with disabilities to remain in their homes and avoid costly institutionalization.



Budget Proposal: Increasing Services to Youth with Complex Care Needs

The County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) and Chief Probation Officers of California (CPOC) are seeking $63 million in State General Funds (SGF) for county child welfare and probation agencies and statutory changes to better serve foster youth with acute, complex needs.

CWDA/CPOC Complex Care Fact Sheet

CWDA/CPOC STATT and RHT Proposal Detail


Budget Fact Sheet: Building Diversity & Workforce Support in County Human Services Programs

County human service agencies are facing critical staffing shortages across all program areas. Competition for staff is fierce both within the county (across programs and services as well as the private sector) and across county lines. This proposal would provide funding and resources, as well as reduce barriers, to address these significant workforce shortages. 

CWDA Workforce Proposal Fact Sheet


Budget Fact Sheet: Update Flawed IHSS Administrative Funding Process

As of October 2022, over 691,000 older adults and persons with disabilities receive in-home care from 600,514 trusted In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) caregivers in California. However, county IHSS programs are not fully funded to carry out the administrative duties required to meet numerous state and federal mandates. The current funding methodology fails to account for all persons that IHSS serves and also understates the cost of staffing. 

CWDA IHSS Administrative Funding Fact Sheet


Budget Fact Sheet: Emergency Services & Disaster Response

The state has experienced an unprecedented number of emergencies and disasters in recent years, including but not limited to record-breaking wildfires and the pandemic. Most recently, widespread and sustained storms created flooding, mudslides and power outages. Counties, particularly human services departments, are at the front line of disaster response and recovery efforts, and support is needed to ensure these tasks do not interfere with the day-to-day operations of the critical safety net programs counties also operate.

CWDA Disaster Response Proposal Fact Sheet

Budget Priority

State Budget Update #1 – Governor’s Proposed 2023-2024 Budget
Updates Issued In January 2023

Governor Newsom released his proposed 2023-24 budget this morning. The following budget update summarizes what we know so far about the proposals and issues of interest in the health and human services area. 

Press release

Budget Agreement Makes “Historic Investments” in Most Vulnerable Californians’ Recovery and Well-Being
If sustained long-term, budget decisions position California for meaningful progress against poverty, homelessness, and longstanding harms of systemic racism and inequity

Sacramento, CA – The County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) lauded the 2021-22 budget agreement the legislature voted on today, highlighting historic investments in the safety net programs county human services departments administer on behalf of the state. 

Budget Priority

CWDA Letters on Key Issues in 2021-22 Budget Discussions

The County Welfare Directors Association respectfully urges your support for funding included in the Joint Legislative State Budget Plans for implementation of two important CalFresh policy changes. 
Simplifications to Improve Program Access 

Budget Priority

State Budget Update #3 Legislature Reaches 2021-22 Budget Deal

Last night the Senate and Assembly Budget Committees each voted to approve a 2021-22 budget agreement reached earlier this week between the two houses. Because the Senate and Assembly are already in agreement and have adopted identical budget plans, there will be no Budget Conference Committee this year. The focus now turns to negotiations with the Governor to reach a three-party budget deal that can be voted on by the full Senate and Assembly by the required June 15th deadline for the Legislature to adopt a budget. 

Budget Priority

Human Services Programs – CWDA May Revision Memo #3

The May Revision includes a $68.3 million reduction, about 11 percent, to the Eligibility component of the Single Allocation in 2021-22. This is the funding that counties use to process applications for CalWORKs, redetermine eligibility, and provide case maintenance. This reduction is due both to revised caseload assumptions in the May Revision, and a more technical aspect of the budgeting methodology that shifts eligibility costs between CalWORKs and CalFresh.

Budget Priority

Medi-Cal and Health Programs – CWDA May Revision Memo #2

The County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) appreciates the collaboration and hard work of the Legislature and Administration throughout the budget process this year. Overall, the Administration’s proposed May Revision contains important investments in California’s low-income and vulnerable children and families.

Budget Priority

State Budget Update #2 May Revision 2021-22 Budget

Governor Newsom released his May Revision budget proposal this morning, for the 2021-22 fiscal year. The following budget update summarizes the proposals and issues included in the May Revision impacting the health and human services area based on what we know so far. As of this writing, the detailed budget backup information for the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) was not yet available. As a result, we do not know the specifics of many proposals, nor do we have precise caseload and county administration allocation information for the CDSS programs.

Budget Priority

Investment Opportunities and Funding Needs in Health and Human Services Programs – CWDA May Revision Memo # 1

CWDA requests $1.5 million in 2021-22, $150 million in 2022-23, and $178 million in 2023-24 and ongoing to increase the Applicant Earned Income Disregard (EID) from $90 to $600 effective June 2022, commensurate with changes approved to the Recipient EID in the 2019-20 Budget Act. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, redeterminations of eligibility for the CalWORKs program were suspended; when they resumed in late 2020, thousands of families were removed from the program because they failed to complete paperwork requirements.

Budget Priority

County Human Services Programs Have Essential Role in California’s Comeback
Governor’s Budget Invests in Services to Help Hardest-Hit Californians Recover After Devastation of Pandemic, Recession and Longstanding Inequity

Sacramento, CA – The County Welfare Directors Association of California (CWDA) released the following statement from Executive Director Cathy Senderling-McDonald after Governor Newsom presented his revised FY 2021-22 budget proposal:

“Governor Newsom’s budget proposal meets this moment – as we emerge from a devastating pandemic and recession, amid a growing recognition that racism and inequity must be addressed meaningfully in our state and nationwide – with a tremendous set of investments aimed at improving the well-being of vulnerable Californians and families.

Budget Priority

CWDA Comments on Various Health and Human Services Budget Proposals

As part of the annual budget process, the County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) typically comments or takes positions on budget proposals from the Administration or advocates that are of policy interest to our members or that have an effect on county operations. Because of the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the annual state budget hearing process, we have been unable to provide our feedback through public testimony as we usually would. Therefore, we are providing this feedback on several budget proposals in the adults policy area in writing here. 

Budget Priority

Coalition Letter on Family First Prevention Services Act

The organizations below respectfully request your support for an augmentation of $50 million General Fund (GF) in FY 2021-22, and $100 million on-going, to build locally driven services and supports for children, youth and families at risk of entering foster care. The goal of this effort is to keep families safely together and prevent the need for entries into the foster care system whenever possible.

Budget Priority

Pandemic Relief For CalWORKs Families Budget Memo

The County Welfare Directors Association (CWDA) respectfully requests your consideration of exempting pandemic or statewide public health emergency related unemployment or other relief benefits from consideration during CalWORKs eligibility determinations for applicants and recipients. This proposal would also allow for streamlining of the CalWORKs application process by allowing for electronic verification of identification.