Return to the Latest

May Budget Revision Falls Short for Students and Young Californians

May 17, 2024
Contact: Emma Bittner
(972) 510-3395 |

May Budget Revision Falls Short for Students and Young Californians

(Los Angeles, CA) –  Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom released his detailed May Budget Revision for the proposed 2024-2025 California state budget, which faces a budget deficit. In this proposal, Governor Newsom significantly reduced and delayed funding in key issue areas that affect young adults, including higher education, workforce and finance, and health care.

In efforts to balance the considerable budget deficit, Governor Newsom abandoned critical funding for programs that serve young adults statewide. 

In the revision higher education took a significant cut, further exploiting the already broken and inaccessible education system The budget reduces $510 million in ongoing General Fund support for the Middle Class Scholarship Program, leaving only $100 million in support. This reduction, combined with the exclusion of funding for the Cal Grant Reform Act and the California Community College Cal Grant Expansion Program due to negative multi-year projections, exacerbates the higher education affordability crisis. Students already struggling with the rising costs of tuition and living expenses now face even greater barriers to accessing and completing their degrees.

The California Food Assistance Program expansion has been delayed by two years, now scheduled to begin in 2026-27 with benefits starting in 2027-28. Lacking secure and stable access to food causes severe health impacts and interrupts students’ pursuit of a degree and creates an added economic barrier for young people entering the workforce or becoming financially independent. Young Californians and students rely on comprehensive access to food assistance programs, this delay poses significant challenges to their well-being and academic success.

The budget significantly reduces funding for several key health care initiatives. This includes the Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative faces reductions of $72.3 million one-time in 2023-24, $348.6 million in 2024-25, and $5 million in 2025-26. These cuts impact school-linked health partnerships, behavioral health services, public education campaigns, and youth suicide prevention programs. The elimination of $52.5 million in 2023-24 and $300 million ongoing for state and local public health funding further jeopardizes access to essential health services amidst a nationwide mental health crisis.

Furthermore, the budget proposes eliminating significant funding for health care workforce initiatives. This includes eliminating $300.9 million in 2023-24 and $302.7 million in 2024-25 for various health care workforce initiatives, including community health workers, nursing, social work, and the Health Professions Career Opportunity Program. The reduction of $189.4 million in the Mental Health Services Fund for programs proposed to be delayed to 2025-26 also undermines efforts to address the mental health crisis by limiting resources for mental health professionals and services. 

Young Invincibles will continue to advocate and ensure young Californian’s voices are heard and that California funding reflects their needs. It is imperative that we fund and expand on the support and resources necessary for economic opportunity, academic success, and wellbeing of young adults in California.

In response, Alfredo Camacho, West Regional Director at Young Invincibles said:

“Governor Newsom faced a challenging task in balancing California’s substantial budget deficit this year. While we recognize his efforts to promote economic prosperity and workforce development for all Californians, the proposed budget falls short in addressing the needs of students and young adults.

In a year marked by inflation, civil unrest, and post-pandemic recovery, it is more crucial than ever to support young people who are about to enter the workforce. These individuals have the potential to address our most pressing issues if given the chance. Investing in higher education through Cal Grant Reform is nonnegotiable, and securing this funding is essential to ensure accessibility and success for students. Programs such as California Food Assistance and the Behavioral Health Continuum Infrastructure are vital for students to thrive both academically and personally.

Funding programs that benefit young people entering the workforce is not just an expense but a smart investment. The return on this investment is substantial, as it prepares a skilled and educated workforce ready to contribute to California’s economy and solve future challenges. It is disappointing to witness significant budget reductions and the near elimination of essential programs that support young Californians.

Young Invincibles remains unwavering in our commitment to young adults, ensuring they have the necessary tools and support to succeed. We will continue our dedicated advocacy, uplifting young adult voices to ensure policies are shaped by their experiences and knowledge, ultimately fostering a brighter and more equitable future.”


Young Invincibles (YI) is a national advocacy and policy nonprofit organization focused on amplifying the voice of young people in the political process at the local, state, and federal levels. YI focuses on issues impacting young adults ages 18 to 34 in higher education, health care, economic security, and civic engagement. Our offices include Washington, D.C., California, Colorado, Illinois, New York, and Texas. For more information, please contact Emma Bittner at (972) 510-3395 or