Lawmakers unite in opposition to Newsom’s proposed cuts to foster youth program

Republicans and Democrats find themselves on the same side against California’s governor, making for quite the unusual scene in Sacramento.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s budget proposal has created something rarely seen in the Golden State: bipartisan support against him. 

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have voiced their opposition to Newsom’s proposal to cut tens of millions of dollars from the Court Appointed Special Advocates program (CASA). 


The big picture: Newsom’s budget proposal would see $340 million in cuts and delays to legislative priorities, including delaying the implementation of court lactation facilities, slashing the CASA program and gutting the Public Defense Pilot program. 

  • The CASA program supports foster children who are removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment. CASA funding supported over 11,000 court appointed special advocates who in turn supported 13,000 children in the foster care system. 
  • CASA received a $60 million allocation over three years as part of the 2022 Budget Act, of which $20 million has been distributed. Newsom’s proposal would eliminate the remaining $40 million. 

Driving the news: Earlier this week Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 5 on Public Safety held a hearing on parts of Newsom’s budget proposal focusing on the state’s judicial branch. 

What they’re saying: The opposition to Newsom’s cuts was so united that Asm. Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D–Los Angeles) thanked the state’s budget analysts. 

  • “You’ve probably done something that we’ve been trying to do since I’ve been here,” Jones-Sawyer said. “You figured out a way to unite Republicans and Democrats in ways I’ve never seen before.” 
  • Asm. Tom Lackey (R–Palmdale) posed the question of what is more valuable than a child at risk. 
  • “For us to take and cut out these special advocates, it’s a disaster,” Lackey said. “I just hope that we’ll reconsider that, because I’m very very hurt by this proposal.”
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