James P. Steyer, Founder and CEO of Common Sense, on 2020–2021 California Budget
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (January 10, 2020)--The following was released by James P. Steyer, founder and CEO, Common Sense in reaction to Gov. Gavin Newsom's proposed 2020–2021 state budget:
Governor Gavin Newsom's 2020–21 budget proposal outlined today moves California forward in helping California families and children thrive. From the establishment of a new Department of Early Childhood Development to reduce adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress and increased investment in universal preschool to expansions of broadband access and a strong commitment to fighting the vaping epidemic, the governor has taken a stand to support and protect California's children.
Newsom's call for support of Senator Jerry Hill's ban on all tobacco flavors in California is a strong move against the vaping industry, which has hooked a whole generation of kids to dangerous nicotine products through manipulation and deceit. We applaud Governor Newsom for standing up to the industry and taking important steps to protect the well-being of kids. Where the Trump Administration refuses to take action, California leaders like the Governor, Senator Hill, city and county leaders, and school districts are leading the way in protecting kids. We commend Governor Newsom for making kids a priority and encourage the legislature to keep the pressure on so that kids are protected.
The governor is also making an extremely important commitment to providing broadband internet for all Californians, including schools and lower-income communities. This is absolutely critical to ensuring that students of all economic backgrounds are able to access the internet at school and at home where they do their homework. It aligns with calls by Common Sense to close the digital divide in its recent report The Homework Gap: Teacher Perspectives on Closing the Digital Divide.
And finally, it is promising to see the governor provide consumers with more protection against unfair and deceptive practices with the California Consumer Financial Protection Law. This is the kind of consumer-first thinking and lawmaking we need to protect kids and families from tech platforms that are using manipulative and deceptive tactics to take advantage of kids, and we encourage the governor and Legislature to introduce a similar policy specific to technology platforms.
Also this week, California First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom announced the launch of the California Partners Project, an initiative that will focus on gender equity and the mental health of kids related to media and technology.
We couldn't be more pleased that California's First Partner is launching an effort to support California's kids and families. Common Sense has been highlighting gender issues in the media and fighting hard to ensure that we are protecting the well-being of kids in our digital age, and we are absolutely thrilled that these issues will be front and center here in California because we know that this state will lead the way for the country. This is a big win for kids and families all over America.
About Common Sense
Common Sense is the nation's leading nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in the 21st century. Learn more at commonsense.org.