CA Legislature’s budget rebuilds decimated local public health infrastructure

Members of the “California Can’t Wait” coalition of local public health officials, county governments, frontline health workers, and community advocates today applauded California Legislature’s FY 21-22 budget plan which adopts the coalition’s proposed $200M annual investment to rebuild local public health workforce and infrastructure.



“California legislators have taken the lessons of COVID-19 to heart and put forward a plan to begin to rebuild our public health infrastructure and workforce so California is never again underprepared and under resourced when the next public health crisis hits,” said Michelle Gibbons, Executive Director of the County Health Executives Association of California. “The more than $200 million annual investment will equip local public health agencies to address rising rates of STDs, tuberculosis, and other chronic illnesses and diseases and develop a workforce that is ready with contact tracing and disease investigation, and other services that save lives and promote equity.”

“We are grateful to Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Senators Skinner, Eggman and Dr. Pan, Assembly Members Ting, and Dr. Joaquin Arambula and particularly Assembly Member Dr. Jim Wood, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, who has been a fierce champion for local public health funding,” Gibbons continued.

“Frontline workers risked their lives to stop the spread of COVID-19 and with this plan legislators have not only honored their sacrifice but demonstrated they have workers’ backs as we prepare for the next public health crisis — whether it is an earthquake, food borne illness or devastating virus,” said Bob Schoonover, Executive Director of SEIU Local 721 and President of SEIU California. “Now it’s time for Governor Newsom to join legislators, local health officials, frontline workers and community health advocates who all agree: California Can’t Wait until the next crisis; the time is now to invest $200 million annually in our public health infrastructure and workforce.”

The California Can’t Wait coalition is calling on Governor Newsom and lawmakers to invest $200 million annually in local public health, beginning with the FY 21-22 State Budget, to help rebuild our local workforce and infrastructure to prepare for the next crisis before it hits.

This press release was provided by the California Can’t Wait Coalition.