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A Case of Uncertainty: The 2017 California State Budget | A California Policy Forum Program

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 -
10:00am to 11:30am PST
Northern California Grantmakers
160 Spear Street, Suite 360, San Francisco, CA 94105
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This year’s the Governor’s proposed budget presents a significantly different tone than those of the last few years. It reflects lower revenues, a $1.6 billion projected shortfall, an expected economic downturn and deep uncertainty about what the federal government will do regarding the Affordable Care Act(ACA) and other federal programs. In fact, the proposal is based on current federal policy and doesn’t account for possible cuts to the estimated $20 billion or more that California relies on for health insurance subsidies and expanded Medi-Cal coverage.

The $177.1 billion draft budget recommends a number of steps to address the impending deficit in 2017-18 including rescinding some spending commitments that had been part of the 2016-17 budget agreement ($400 million for affordable housing programs, $300 million for renovation of state office buildings, suspending reinvestment in the state’s child care system) and assumes that some state General Fund costs will decrease.

This annual look at the state’s budget with the California Budget and Policy Center (CBPC) Executive Director, Chris Hoene will provide a high-level analysis of the Governor's 2017-18 proposed Budget—especially in light of threats to the ACA and safety net programs and outline the policy choices and outcomes that are likely to emerge in this year's budget deliberations.

Following the presentation will be analysis and discussion with Mayra E. Alvarez, President of The Children's Partnership; Amy Vanderwarker, Co-Director, California Environmental Justice Alliance; Steven Bliss, Director of Strategic Communications, CBPC moderated by Judith Bell, Vice President of Programs, The San Francisco Foundation.  The panel will provide insights on the impact of potential federal changes and implication of the budget on nonprofits, local communities, and government.

Join Us To:

  • Receive expert analysis and insight on the 2017/18 Proposed Budget
  • Hear from nonprofit and policy leaders about implications of the proposed budget and the implications of shifting federal policy
  • Engage in an exchange about the role philanthropy and nonprofits can play as the budget unfolds and its implications become clearer

Target Audience

This program is open to NCG members and non-member funders.  If you are not an NCG member, please register by emailing:

Register Now-Space is limited!

PLEASE NOTE:  To access NCG’s office, please enter through Main Street at 160 Main Street.  Spear Street is temporarily closed for construction. 


Mayra E. Alvarez, President, The Children's Partnership

Mayra is President of The Children's Partnership, a national, nonprofit organization working to ensure all children have the resources and the opportunities they need to grow up healthy and lead productive lives. Ms. Alvarez recently finished a several-year set of assignments at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She was most recently the Director of the State Exchange Group for the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at the US Department of Health and Human Services. In this role, Ms. Alvarez led a team responsible for supporting states in the establishment of Health Insurance Marketplaces, including State-based Marketplaces, State Partnership Marketplaces, and Federally-facilitated Marketplace states.  Previously, Ms. Alvarez served as the Associate Director for the HHS Office of Minority Health, and Director of Public Health Policy in the Office of Health Reform at HHS.

Chris Hoene, Executive Director, California Budget & Policy Center

Chris joined the California Budget & Policy Center as Executive Director in 2012. Prior to joining the California Budget & Policy Center, he was director of the Center for Research & Innovation at the National League of Cities in Washington, DC, leading efforts to analyze trends in local and state government and promote constructive policy action on issues including public finance, economic development, governance, housing, sustainability, and infrastructure. Chris previously worked for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Public Policy Institute of California. In 2010, he was inducted as a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration for his service and expertise in the areas of public policy and government. Chris holds a Ph.D. in political science from Claremont Graduate University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the College of Idaho.

Amy Vanderwarker, Co-Director, California Environmental Justice Alliance

Amy is the Co-Director California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA) and has been with CEJA for almost seven years. She manages CEJA’s Climate Justice Program, as well as overseeing Fund Development and Communications work. Prior to CEJA, she worked as a consultant on environmental justice issues and as the Outreach Manager at the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water. She is on the Board of Directors of Community Water Center.

Judith Bell is the Vice President of Programs at The San Francisco Foundation. Judith brings extensive experience in strategic planning and policy development, with a focus on economic and social equity to the Foundation. Previous to joining the Foundation, Judith was the President of PolicyLink where she had been since its inception, becoming President in 2004. As President, Judith worked to develop the organization into a national leader on a range of equity issues, with her particular focus being policy development and campaign strategy at the local, state, and national levels. Her leadership helped ignite a new national narrative around access and opportunity for all people with a focus on improving health and infrastructure, including increasing access to healthy foods. Before PolicyLink, Judith directed the West Coast Regional Office of Consumers Union, and spearheaded a campaign to preserve more than $14 billion in charitable assets, resulting in the creation of several foundations in California and across the country. She is a regular writer for news outlets and academic publications, has authored several studies and is a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant on advocacy strategy. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a master’s of public administration from Harvard University where she was a Lucius Littauer fellow.

Steven Bliss, Director of Strategic Communications, California Budget & Policy Center

Steven Bliss joined the California Budget & Policy Center in 2011, bringing to the organization 20 years of experience in strategic communications, policy research, and advocacy. Prior to joining the Budget Center, he was executive director of Renew Lehigh Valley, which works to promote urban revitalization and regional equity in eastern Pennsylvania. He previously worked for several years as a San Francisco-based consultant specializing in policy research and analysis on housing, welfare, education, workforce development, public health, transportation, and regional economic development. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and holds a master’s degree in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.


Panel will be preceded by a policy update from Nancy Berlin, Policy Director for CalNonprofits

The California Policy Forum is a series of programs and webinars presented in partnership with CalNonprofits, Philanthropy California (a collaboration between Northern California Grantmakers, San Diego Grantmakers and Southern California Grantmakers) and the  League of California Community Foundations.