Public Policy Updates on the California State Budget by Amy Rose

Greetings and happy summer from Amy Rose, your newly appointed Director of Public Policy. I come to you with several years of public policy research and analysis experience and a passion for increasing the economic well-being of women across the state. I look forward to working with you all and keeping you up to date on public policy happenings around the state.

In June, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $215 billion state budget that included significant investments vital to women’s economic prosperity, including extending paid family leave, continuing to expand health coverage, boosting investments in the K-12 and state higher education systems, and funding for housing affordability. Key highlights include:

  • The California Paid Family Leave (PFL) program allows caregivers to take up to six weeks of paid time off to care for a family member or bond with a newborn. Birth mothers are generally allowed another six weeks to recover from birth, for a total of 12 weeks. The 2019-20 budget agreement extends the duration of the PFL program from six weeks to eight weeks, effective July 1, 2020.
  • Extends, from 60 days to one year, the duration of Medi-Cal eligibility for postpartum care for women who are diagnosed with a mental health condition. A maternal mental health condition occurs during pregnancy or after giving birth and includes, but is not limited to, postpartum depression.
  • Increases Cal Grant awards for students with dependent children. The budget allocates $96.7 million to provide up to $6,000 for UC, CSU, and community college students with dependent children.


This month state legislators will return from their summer break, and I will be providing updates on legislative bills and proposals as they move through the policy process.