Skip to main content

Ramos: Celebrate joint budget committee action and work of tribal leaders, health advocates to restore funding for California’s Indian Health Program

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO—Assemblylmember James C. Ramos (D-San Bernardino) today issued the following statement following a joint legislative budget proposal that restored funding for California’s Indian Health Program:

As chair of the Select Committee on Native American Affairs and a member of the Assembly budget committee, I was also very appreciative that I could assist in funding restoration for California’s Indian Health Program. The program was cut 14 years ago, funded for one year in 2023, and then threatened with elimination this year. Indian Country suffers from some of the worst health inequities in the nation as we saw during the pandemic. Tribal leaders, health providers, advocates and lawmakers joined forces to voice their opposition about returning to California’s “bad old days” in health care access for the state’s Native American communities.

California Consortium for Urban Indian Health Board of Directors President Sonya Tetnowski succinctly expressed the need: ‘Life expectancy for American Indians has dropped 8 years since the program was eliminated in 2009. This is a stark reminder of the importance of the $23 million funding to support Indian Health Programs and urgent Tribal health needs.’

We celebrate this action and will also continue to remain watchful until a final budget is approved.


Assemblymember James C. Ramos proudly represents the 45th Assembly district that includes the Cities of Fontana, Highland, Mentone, Redlands, Rialto and San Bernardino. He is the first and only California Native American serving in the state’s legislature. Ramos chairs the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #6 on Public Safety.