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Assemblymember Dr. Corey Jackson Introduces a Bill and Assembly Constitutional Amendment to Expand the California Youth Childhood Tax Credit to End Child Poverty

For immediate release:

Sacramento - In response to the surge in child poverty, Assemblymember Dr. Corey Jackson has introduced two proposals to develop and strengthen the California Youth Childhood Tax Credit (YCTC). Recent data from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) reveals a concerning spike in youth poverty from 9.0% in fall 2021 to 13.8% in early 2023.


The Latino poverty rate in California has seen an alarming increase, rising to 16.9% from 13.5% in fall 2021, according to the PPIC. Latinos continue to be disproportionately affected, comprising about half (50.7%) of poor Californians but only 39.7% of the total population.


Furthermore, social safety net programs have proven effective in keeping children out of poverty. In early 2023, these programs successfully prevented poverty for 14.9% of children, approximately 1.3 million in total, as reported by the PPIC.


This data underscores the critical need to expand social safety net programs and initiatives like the YCTC to address the specific challenges faced by children of immigrants and other vulnerable populations in California.


Data shows that living in poverty exposes children to heightened stress, chronic health conditions, abuse and neglect, neighborhood crime, and poor school performance and increased violence. Prolonged exposure to such conditions significantly shapes their development, which is why the status quo in California is not acceptable. Children need resources and services to thrive, it is our responsibility as a state to ensure this is a priority. We know that these programs work. We saw the results on the poverty rate during the pandemic and it is time we enact a permanent solution to address this childhood poverty pandemic.


”Eliminating childhood poverty is not just a goal; it is a moral and economic imperative for the future of California. Our state's youth deserve a chance to thrive, unburdened by poverty,” said Assemblymember Dr. Corey A. Jackson “Youth poverty is a policy choice. That is why I am proposing two options to get this done. If childhood poverty exists in California, it is because the legislature and the Governor have decided that it is acceptable."


To realize this vision, Assemblymember Dr. Corey A. Jackson has introduced two policies to tackle the youth poverty pandemic in California:


Revenue Generation: ACA 21 seeks to authorize the state to tax candy for the purpose of raising revenue to end youth poverty. The bill would also raise the maximum age of a qualifying child for purposes of the young child tax credit to 18 years of age.


Strategic Reallocation:  AB 2977 reprioritizes and revises current tax credits in order to strengthen the YCTC. The bill proposes to amend the Capital Gains Step-Up Basis on Assets, the First-Year Franchise Tax Exemption and the California Earned Income Tax Credit.


The expansion of the YCTC aims to shift priorities and bring an end to youth poverty. In the past we have been content with managing it, but that is not good enough. Our children deserve better. Taking bold action, combining programs and creating sustainable revenue streams to establish an equitable tax credit that effectively ends youth poverty across the state is essential to the future of California.