California State Budget Increases Dependency Counsel Funding by $22 Million!

July 17, 2017
After 5 years of hard work, relentless advocacy, and unstoppable commitment - we did it! The final California state budget for the coming year includes a $22 million increase for Dependency Counsel funding. 

To all of our allies who made phone calls and wrote letters –thank you for standing up for abused and neglected children and their families. We could not have done it without you. You are making a difference!  By giving dependency attorneys across the state the tools we need to be best we can be, you have given tens of thousands of foster children a fighting chance at a better future. 

And to every single overworked and underpaid dependency attorney, investigator, peer advocate, secretary, administrator, case manager, back office and front office staff... you are the heart, soul, backbone, sunshine and shining star for thousands of children and families - you are true heroes  - thank you. 

We are filled with gratitude, joy and relief!

Many people joined us in this effort over the years, and more than ever this year. Of special note though - Senator (and Senate Budget Chair) Holly Mitchell, Assembly Member Mark Stone, Senator Jim Beall, Assembly Member Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Assembly and Senate staffer Marvin Deon, lobbyists Steve Coony, Ed Howard, Dion Aroner, and Susanna Kniffin - you have been with us from the very beginning - never giving up hope and staying mission-focused for 5 years. 

To everyone who stepped up to help get us over the finish line - Senate president pro Tem Kevin de Leon, Senators Hannah-Beth Jackson, Bob Hertzberg, Ricardo Lara, Richard Roth and Nancy Skinner, Speaker of the Assembly Anthony Rendon, Assembly Members Phil Ting, Shirley Weber, Kevin McCarty, the L.A. and Sacramento County Boards of Supervisors, and all of your dedicated staff...we are deeply appreciative of your leadership and support.

Thank you to Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, the Judicial Council, its great staff, and over 200 current and former Judges for recognizing the importance of our work and the critical role we play in California's court system and in the lives of vulnerable families.  

To Miles Cooley, Andrew Cain, Carolyn Greismer, Roger Salazar, Kim Stone, and Duncan McFetridge – thank you for being a voice for those who are often left voiceless.

Kudos aplenty to the  Mercury News, East Bay Times, Sacramento Bee, Courthouse News Services, Capitol Public Radio, Fresno Bee, San Francisco Chronicle, La Opinion, Voice of San Diego and Which Way L.A. for shedding light on this important issue. 

Finally, thank you to Governor Jerry Brown, his executive team, Special Finance Advisor Diane Cummins and her Department of Finance colleagues. They listened hard and well to every voice, gave their best advice, and demonstrated a true commitment to California's foster children and their families.  You are changing lives.