SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – California lawmakers and Governor Gavin Newsom have just days to agree on the state budget.
The two are at odds over proposed budget cuts to vital services as the state braces for a $54-billion deficit.
As budget negotiations continued inside the capitol Wednesday, outside a labor union rally calling on lawmakers to cancel proposed cuts.
“Don’t cut the people you said were essential and now they’re not. So which is it?” Akbar Bibb said.
With a spike in unemployment and drop in state revenues, Governor Newsom’s budget proposes billions in cuts to schools, health care programs and pay for state employees, including workers who have served on the front lines of COVID-19.
The legislature’s version rejects some of the governor’s cuts.
“We must draw a line against the cuts to the very same communities and front line workers that we put in harms way that we failed to protect from COVID-19 in the first place,” Assm. Reggie Jones-Sawyer, D-Los Angeles, said.
Newsom’s administration has said about a quarter of his proposed budget cuts would immediately be canceled if the federal government steps in before the budget is enacted but with days left before that deadline, no federal dollars have been promised.
“That ask the federal government to do what it should do..what it must do.. but it may not, or it may not provide stimulus at the level that it should, but we have it within ourselves to make the investments that we need,” Assm. Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, said.
Lawmakers at Wednesday’s rally presented other ways the legislature can keep up future investments, including another millionaire tax.
The legislature has until June 15 to approve an operating budget, and if not, the state constitution says they won’t get paid.
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