San Bernardino – The following is a statement made by Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes regarding passage of the California State Budget.
Yesterday, was the first time in many years that the Legislature had to vote on a budget that reduces the scope and impact of our priorities through reduced spending and investment. Thankfully, in previous budget years the Legislature worked to set aside the largest rainy day reserve ($16 billion) in our state’s history and larger than the entire budget of many states in the nation. Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic the rainy day has arrived forcing us to make difficult choices so that we can protect our most vulnerable communities, which we have done.
Last year I introduced Assembly Bill 1593 to expand the California’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to immigrants that file taxes using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINS). The EITC is one of the most cost-effective government tools that has a direct impact on people across the state to help lift them out of poverty. Despite its noted success however, there are critical populations who continue to be left behind, one of which are immigrants who file their taxes using an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. These individuals are taxpaying members of our communities who, despite contributing to their local economies, cannot access a critical tool to help work their way out of poverty. The budget that we voted on yesterday includes some of the provisions of my legislation (AB 1593), specifically an expansion of EITC to families that file with ITINS with children under age 6. This is a major step in assisting everyone in our communities who are working and regularly file their taxes. I am also pleased that this year’s budget invests more money in CalEITC outreach to ensure that all families are able to participate in this vital program.