SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s governor and legislative leaders sought $16.7 million in state funds on Friday to assist Afghan refugees in the state’s resettlement.
Governor Gavin Newsom stated in a statement that the request to utilize general fund money to help refugees escaping the Taliban control shows that “California stands ready to assist those in need.” “As the most diverse state in the country, we don’t just accept variety; we celebrate it.”
The financial proposal made by Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon is anticipated to be debated during the legislative session that begins next week.
The request is unlikely to encounter substantial pushback in the Democrat-controlled Legislature, given the backing of both chambers’ leaders.
According to Newsom, the money would offer monetary support and other assistance to refugees who do not qualify for some federal refugee benefits and public assistance programs because they do not have special visas but are being allowed to the US on humanitarian grounds.
Some refugees may be eligible for Medi-Cal and other state-funded help, but CalWORKs, the state-funded public assistance program, is only available to individuals who arrive with children.
To fill those help shortages, Newsom proposes temporarily expanding the Trafficking and Crime Victim Assistance Program.
“These refugees assisted our service members in Afghanistan, and it is only fair that we give them hope when they arrive in California,” said Democrat Atkins. “When I was a kid, the golden rule was to help people in need no matter how little you had. We are fortunate to be in a situation in California where we have the funds to assist these refugees in adjusting to life in our culture.”