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Abortion, inflation and crime: How Newsom would spend record-setting California surplus

John Myers, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $300.6-billion state budget proposal was sent to the California Legislature on Friday, a far-reaching plan to use a historic tax surplus to boost both government services and the size of the state’s cash reserves.

Lawmakers are required to send a final plan to Newsom’s desk by June 15. California government’s fiscal year begins on July 1.

The governor’s proposal spans both long-term investments and immediate cash rebates, largely made possible by a towering $97.5-billion tax surplus through next summer. Over the last decade, the state’s economy has produced tax revenues that erased years of budget deficits. Other new services would be paid for through traditional state general fund programs.

$18.1 billion to offset high inflation

Newsom’s budget would set aside almost 19% of the tax surplus for immediate cash rebates and a variety of assistance programs for low-income residents.

Most of the money — $11.1 billion — would be distributed through cash deposits or debit cards in the late summer. The governor has proposed doing so through $400 payments to vehicle owners, seeking to mitigate the high price of fuel. State sales taxes assessed on diesel fuel would be suspended for a year. Free rides on public transit would be made available through $750 million in subsidies.

 

Hospital and skilled nursing facility workers would be eligible for $1,500 stipends, rising to $2,000 per worker if employers chip in.

Low-income renters who applied for rental assistance this spring would receive $2.7 billion in cash aid, fully funding a program that has left some Californians waiting for help. And existing programs providing help with unpaid utility bills would receive $1.4 billion.

Subsidies for private healthcare plans purchased under Covered California would be extended for families of four earning up to $166,500.

$47.1 billion for climate, drought, wildfire impacts

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