When Assemblymember Jim Cooper joined the Assembly in 2014, he and his colleagues immediately began working to ensure the fiscal security of our state. Since 2014, California has made great progress, increasing investments in education, health, human services, transportation and so much more while still saving for the future. Here are some of the budget accomplishments Assemblymember Cooper is most proud of since his first election.
1. Producing on-time and balanced budgets
Every budget passed since 2014 has been on-time and balanced. For the first time in years, California has experienced six straight years of surplus.
2. Recovering from the recession
State revenues have increased by 10 percent, from $116.4 billion in 2014 to $127.5 billion, helping fund important programs.
3. Saving for the Future
The State’s Rainy Day Fund has quadrupled since 2014 and now has $8.5 billion saved away. The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) projects this to increase to almost $13 billion by 2018.
4. Investing in K-12 Education
Since 2014, the Legislature has added $19.9 billion in funding for K-12 education. This includes $1.2 million for schools in our area for 2017 alone!
5. Funding Financial Aid
State support of financial aid increased by $276 million from 2014- 2017. This includes additional funding for the Middle Class Scholarship and Cal Grants, making college more affordable for our children.
Enrollment at Sac State has increased to 20,000 undergraduate students, enabling more people to get a quality education.
6. Increasing Access to Health Care
With the Medi-Cal and Affordable Care Act - Covered CA expansions, 1.4 Million more Californians have gained health insurance coverage since 2014—including 215,000 undocumented children. Over one-third of Californians now get their health insurance through the State.
7. Giving Back to the Lowest-Income Californians
The State Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) provides a refundable tax credit for wages for the lowest-income Californians. EITC eligibility now covers families with self-employment income and includes those with incomes up to $22,300. If you think you may be eligible for the California EITC, please visit: Franchise Tax Board.
8. Providing for Low Income Children
To make sure our disadvantaged children get what they need, the Assembly expanded the CalWorks program, allowing 130,000 additional children to receive a cash benefit.
9. Serving the Elderly and Disabled
Profoundly disabled Californians now qualify for in-home care workers, helping care for our vulnerable populations and creating union jobs.
10. Investing in Infrastructure
The Legislature has dedicated billions of new transportation revenue for maintenance of state highways, local streets and roads, intercity rail programs, state highways and more.