- Felicia Matlosz
FRESNO, CA – Assemblymember Dr. Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno) today responded to Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed May revise budget:
“There is much to applaud in Governor Newsom’s revised budget, including areas that I have strongly supported for improvement or expansion. This includes his $1.1 billion proposed for CalAIM, which I have described will be the most transformative and foundational change to the state’s Medi-Cal program in 50 years, and his commitment of $100 million to help older adults that includes expanding the protection act for elder and dependent adults that I addressed this year in my legislation, Assembly Bill 695.”
“I’m also pleased that the Governor has committed to full scope Medi-Cal health care access to seniors 60 years of age and older, regardless of immigration status. But let me be clear: I’m deeply disappointed that he hasn’t made the same commitment to the farmworkers and other low-income essential workers who have kept our families fed and cared for during this horrible pandemic. Many of them are Latinos – adults in the prime of life -- killed or afflicted by COVID-19 in numbers disproportionate to the rest of our fellow Californians.
“They put their own lives and health at risk during this crisis. They pay their share of taxes, and contribute to our economy -- and yet still are being excluded. What does this say about California’s values if this is allowed to continue, especially when the State’s budget abounds with unexpected revenue in the billions and billions of dollars? Frankly, it stuns me that they are being left behind – and yet are expected to keep doing their jobs, keep food on our tables, keep taking care of us in our homes, hospitals and schools, and keep our economy going.
“The Governor has talked regularly about equity for these workers and helping the most vulnerable. The pandemic has been a brutal reminder of what happens to our most vulnerable. It’s time we change this. I will continue to fight for granting access to all income-eligible adults, regardless of immigration status. California cannot roar back if we don’t do it together.”