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The 2019-20 budget: Immigrant legal services at the public higher education segments

The Legislative Analyst’s Office has just published the following report:

The 2019-20 Budget: Immigrant Legal Services at the Public Higher Education Segments

The Governor proposes to make certain one-time funding provided in the current year for immigrant legal services ongoing. Specifically, the 2018-19 budget provided one-time funds for immigrant legal services for students and staff at the California Community Colleges (CCC), California State University (CSU), and University of California (UC). The 2018-19 budget directed the Department of Social Services (DSS) to administer the program on behalf of CCC and CSU, whereas UC received the funding directly for its existing immigrant legal services center. The Governor’s 2019-20 budget proposes to make this current-year funding ongoing for CCC and CSU beginning in 2019-20. The Governor also has signaled his intent to provide ongoing funds for UC legal services beginning in 2022-23, once UC’s one-time funds have been depleted.

Little of the current-year funds for CCC and CSU will be spent by the end of 2018-19. We thus recommend the Legislature direct DSS to use these unspent funds to cover 2019-20 program costs. To assist the Legislature in determining the appropriate amount of funding to provide DSS for CCC and CSU the following year (2020-21), we recommend directing DSS to report next spring on workload demand at the campuses and the resulting need for resources. UC, meanwhile, likely will not have spent all of its one-time funding by the end of 2019-20. No action therefore is needed from the Legislature in 2019-20 to sustain UC’s immigrant legal services program. We recommend the Legislature direct UC to report at hearings next spring on the center’s annual operating costs and its plans to spend its one-time funding. Moving forward, we also recommend the Legislature consider the advantages and disadvantages of funding immigrant legal services through UC’s legal services center instead of DSS.

This report is available using the following link: https://lao.ca.gov/Publications/Report/4029?utm_source=laowww&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=4029

This article was released by the California Legislative Analyst’s Office.