Protecting Our Progress

Dear Constituent,

Inflation and economic uncertainties not only impacted California families during the past year, they also affected the state budget. Lower revenues made balancing this year’s budget a challenge. But I’m pleased to report that California’s 2023-24 budget contains no cuts to core programs, such as schools, health care and safety net services, and maintains a record level of reserves to safeguard against future economic uncertainty.

I am particularly proud that the 2023-24 budget strengthens California’s nation-leading efforts to combat climate change and expands much-needed funding for childcare, public transit, and other essential services that are still reeling from pandemic-related impacts.

Here are some key highlights:

  • K-12 Public Schools and Community Colleges: Received an increase of $2.1 billion compared to 2022-23, putting California in the top 20 states in per pupil spending. Just a decade ago, California was at the bottom, ranked along with Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana, in per pupil spending.
  • Higher Education:
    • University of California, California State University and Community College systems all received increases to their base funding,
    • State investments in new student housing and the Middle-Class Scholarship Program were maintained, and
    • New financial aid for foster youth to help them achieve debt free college was included.
  • Public Transit: To help transit agencies facing significant budget shortfalls, the 23-24 budget provides $5.1 billion in flexible spending over four years.
  • Medi-Cal: Doctors and nurses who serve Medi-Cal patients will receive their first rate increase in a decade.
  • Childcare and Preschool Rates: To help ensure that child care providers and state preschools can retain staff and keep their doors open, funds were provided to raise reimbursement rates and enhance staff benefits.
  • Childcare and State Preschool Fees: California subsidizes the cost of childcare for many families, but even with that help, fees can still make childcare too costly. Our 23-24 budget waives childcare and state preschool fees through Sept. 30, and implements a permanent family fee reform on Oct. 1, so that families below 75% of state median income will pay no fee, and families at or above 75% of state median income will have their fee capped at 1% of the family’s monthly income.
  • CoveredCA: Californians who purchase their health care plan through the state’s Affordable Care Act program, CoveredCA, will have their copays and deductibles lowered beginning Jan. 1, 2024.
  • CalWORKs Grants. Many of California’s lowest-income families rely on CalWORKs. The 23-24 budget makes permanent a 10% grant increase to support those families.
  • Climate and Energy: Climate and energy programs that enhance coastal resilience and expand clean energy production were provided $1.25 billion, and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund was increased by $2.1 billion.
  • Homelessness and Housing:
    • Homeless Housing, Assistance, and Prevention (HHAP) funding will continue so local efforts to reduce and prevent homelessness can be assured funding for another year.
    • Accessory Dwelling Unit Grant Program will also continue for another year, to support homeowners building ADUs, also known as backyard cottages or granny flats.
  • Human Services. Starting in summer 2024, California’s Summer EBT program will help ensure that children don’t go hungry during summer months when school is out.
  • Public Safety: Includes Governor Newsom’s plan to greatly expand rehabilitation programs at San Quentin Prison, as well as the Legislature’s intent to achieve cost savings that can be redirected to community crime prevention and enhanced reentry by closing additional prisons.

To learn more about this year’s budget, click here or go to the Senate’s Budget and Fiscal Review Committee website here.

It is an honor serving you in the state Senate.



Nancy Skinner
State Senator, District 9