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    By Emily Hoeven, Cal Matters

    Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state Legislature’s Democratic leaders have struck a budget deal — just in the nick of time.

    After months of haggling, Newsom, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon on Sunday night unveiled their joint $300 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins Friday.

    The centerpiece is a $17 billion inflation relief package that includes direct payments of as much as $1,050 to an estimated 23 million Californians, including individual filers making as much as $250,000 and joint filers making as much as $500,000, CalMatters’ Alexei Koseff reports. Lower- and middle-income taxpayers, as well as families with children, will receive more money than those with higher incomes. About $1.1 billion will go to elderly, blind or disabled Californians with low incomes and very low-income families enrolled in the state’s public assistance program.

    • Newsom, Atkins and Rendon: “California’s budget addresses the state’s most pressing needs, and prioritizes getting dollars back into the pockets of millions of Californians who are grappling with global inflation and rising prices of everything from gas to groceries.”
    • But, while California will spend $439 million to suspend a portion of the diesel sales tax, lowering prices by about 23 cents per gallon, the excise gas tax — which is set to increase by nearly 3 cents per gallon on Friday — will remain in place.
    • And Californians aren’t likely to start receiving rebates until October, Rendon said last week — incidentally, about a month before the statewide general election.

    Many of the budget deal’s other details are ensconced in a series of “trailer bills” — measures drafted behind closed doors that can include major policy changes with little to no relationship to the budget — published over the weekend.

    The Legislature is set to consider the bills — some of which are hundreds of pages long — in hearings starting this morning and will likely approve many of them before leaving for summer recess on Friday.

    • Veteran lobbyist Chris Micheli asked me Sunday night: “How is less than 24 hours to review and analyze massive trailer bills good for public transparency and the ability to communicate with legislators?”

    SOURCE


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