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California FY 17-18 Budget Agreement Makes Strong Investments in Postsecondary and Career Technical Education, But Fails to Expand Health Care Options for All Young Adults

June 19, 2017
Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202.734.6510

[Oakland, CA] — California lawmakers last Thursday gave final approval of its version of the 2017-18 budget. The $183 billion budget now sits on Governor Brown’s desk and awaits his signature. Christopher Nellum, Policy and Research Director at Young Invincibles, issued the statement below in response:

“We are thrilled the budget agreement includes key higher education and workforce investments that will support young Californians’ economic security, but disappointed the budget does not improve access to health care for undocumented young adults.

Thanks to the introduction of AB 453 (Limón), a key higher education improvement in the budget for young adults includes a $7.5 million investment in anti-hunger initiatives at the California Community College, California State University, and University of California. Each of the systems will have access to $2.5 million to incentivize campuses to pursue a “Hunger-Free College” Designation if an institution provides a campus employee to assist students who qualify for CalFresh, starts or maintains a campus-based food pantry or has regular food distributions on campus, and establishes a voluntary meal sharing program such as Swipe Out Hunger.

In addition, the budget includes investments at the intersection of higher education and the workforce that support the goal of SB 15 (Leyva). Community college students who pursue career and technical education (CTE) training and receive a Cal Grant C award will now be eligible for $1,094 (up from $574) to cover access costs (i.e., non-tuition expenses) such as housing, transportation, and food that drive up the total cost of college.

We are saddened, however, that the Legislature rejected the #Health4AllYA proposal in its negotiations over how to allocate tobacco tax revenues (Prop 56). The proposal would have extended Medi-Cal eligibility to low-income undocumented young adults who are age 19 to 26. Our health care system is stronger when all Californians are covered; we look forward to working with our coalition and the Legislature to ensure undocumented young adults have access to comprehensive, affordable health benefits.”