California is awash in tax revenue and budget reflects it


SACRAMENTO, Calif (KRON) – Gov. Gavin Newsom rolled out his $268 billion spending plan Friday that will be paid with help from a historic $75.7 billion surplus and another $27 billion in federal relief. 

“It is, I think, going to set this state up for not just a comeback but an extraordinary decade arguably century ahead,” Newsom said. 

Among the priorities presented Friday was extending the state’s health insurance to undocumented immigrants by May of 2022. 

Newsom’s office estimates it will cost $1 billion annually.  

“We think we need to do more to help support immigrants integrate into this state,” he explained. “We’re doing that in terms of health care, in terms of pandemic supports, we’re doing that in terms of financial supports.” 

Newsom also proposed $7 billion to try to close the digital divide and make broadband more accessible to low-income and tribal communities. 

He also proposed billions to boost mental health service programs for children and adults, money to speed up thousands of housing projects, money to improve technologies at the state’s embattled Employment Development Department and Department of Motor Vehicles and $300 million toward traffic fine forgiveness for violations within the last six years. 

This on top of proposals he laid out earlier this week including more stimulus checks to middle-and-low-income families, billions toward homelessness and the state’s public education system. 

One billion dollars is also included for public health departments for ongoing pandemic-related response, but some local public health officials were frustrated the governor did not include new funds for them. 

The County Health Executives Association of California tweeted in part that they were deeply dismayed, saying they hope to work with the legislature on a budget proposal to build public health workforces and infrastructure.  

More criticism came from legislative Republican leaders who say Newsom’s spending plan shows California taxes are too high. 

But the governor says he’s proud of the budget.  

“We’re trying to do things the state has talked about but never accomplished because we never had the resources to do it,” he said. 

The legislature and governor have until June 15 to agree on the state’s spending plan.

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