California Labor Federation Applauds Governor’s Budget for Critical Investments in Jobs, Education and Health Care, Commitment to COVID Paid Sick Leave
Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski
Gov. Newsom’s 2022-2023 budget proposal includes historic investments in critical priorities for all Californians, including health care, COVID response, transportation, housing, workforce development and good jobs, reflecting the values of workers who are the heart and soul of this state.
We applaud the Governor for devoting significant resources to fighting COVID as the pandemic intensifies. The Governor expressed his commitment to reinstating COVID supplemental paid sick leave, a vital weapon in our state’s arsenal to slow the spread and protect workers who have borne the brunt of this pandemic from its inception. California’s unions will work tirelessly with the Governor and legislature in the coming weeks to ensure that no worker has to choose between going to work sick or paying the rent at the end of the month.
While we support the Governor’s budget allocations for increased testing and other measures to mitigate the impact of COVID, we implore the administration to prioritize health care workers and other frontline workers whose lives are at risk during this current surge.
The expansion of Medi-Cal moves the state toward universal health coverage, a longtime goal of the labor movement, positioning California to lead nationwide. We must push for every single person in our state to have affordable, quality health care. We fully support the Governor’s proposal for an Office of Affordability to reduce soaring costs. Workers for too long have sacrificed higher wages to keep their health care.
This budget is a reflection of who we are as Californians and what we value. Working people are proud to live in a state that prioritizes world-class public services, including our core infrastructure of education, construction, health care and good jobs. We look forward to working with the Governor and legislature in the coming months to implement these investments to build a strong future full of opportunity and hope for all Californians.