Newsom unveils record-breaking $268B budget proposal

 | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) – California Gov. Gavin Newsom is calling his record $268 billion spending proposal a “historic, unprecedented, generational and transformational” plan to get the state back on its feet. 

The budget relies on a $75 billion boost from the state’s wealthiest largely staying employed during the COVID-19 pandemic and a constitutional spending requirement that means a certain amount of revenue must be redistributed to taxpayers. Newsom’s proposal also includes $27 billion in federal stimulus money that must be spent. 

The expansive budget appears to spend more than any annual state budget in American history.

Included in the proposal is another one-time $600 stimulus check, eligible to any resident making less than $75,000. Those with at least one dependent would receive an additional $500.

“It’s an unprecedented commitment to the people of California brought to you from the people of California,” Newsom said Friday morning. “This is not a budget that plays small-ball. We’re not trying to play in the margins. We’re not trying to fail more efficiently. We’re trying to do things that this state has talked about but never been able to accomplish because we’ve never had the resources to do it.” 

The announcement is the finale in a series of weeklong stops where Newsom dropped new details of his “California Comeback” plan. 

In addition to Monday’s stimulus announcement, Newsom promoted billions of dollars in spending on fighting homelessness, rent forgiveness checks, business tax rebates, child care assistance, job training, infrastructure improvements, broadband expansion and more.

Recognizing that the influx of cash is a one-time event, Newsom stressed the state also would make a significant contribution to the its pension funds, which are underfunded by billions of dollars.

The spending announcements precede a likely recall election in November, where Newsom likely will face criticism for not lowering taxes. 

The plan now heads to state lawmakers, who have a month to hash out details of the budget and get it back to Newsom before the June 15 deadline. California’s fiscal year begins July 1.

Regional Editor

Cole Lauterbach is a regional editor for The Center Square covering Arizona, California, Oregon, and Washington. For more than a decade, Cole has produced award-winning content on both radio and television.


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