CHILDREN’S HEALTH: Advocacy Group Blasts Davis’ Budget
While Gov. Gray Davis (D) prepares to sign a new state budget, the Children's Advocacy Institute charged Tuesday that California still does not spend enough to ensure the well-being of its youth, the Sacramento Bee reports. In a 650-page report, the advocacy group cited a decline in state spending on the health and education of children, noting a 6% decrease in the past 20 years. "In sum, we would be spending $9 billion more on children if we accepted the same burden as our parents," CAI lobbyist Kathy Dresslar said. But Davis spokesperson Hilary McLean called the proposed 2000-2001 budget "a great budget for kids," adding, "It's got billions to improve education, funding for a massive expansion of Healthy Families, and it also includes a child care tax credit for parents." According to CAI Director Robert Fellmeth, however, much of the additional spending only covers one year, which does not "allow for the long term, sustained improvements that are needed." He explained that in the area of children's health, for example, the state has failed to provide care to 18% of the state's uninsured kids. While Davis promised to enroll all eligible children under the new budget, CAI estimated that 4% would not receive coverage (Henshaw, 6/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.