California Gov. Newsom to release his 1st state budget

California Gov. Newsom to release his 1st state budget

The budget expands the earned income tax credit, adds $1.3 billion for housing development and almost $2 billion for early childhood education and care.

Taking a page from Brown's budget playbook, which targets as much new spending as possible on one-time expenditures that don't carry a long-term cost, Newsom has focused much of his new early childhood spending on construction projects.

With last year's approved budget of $139 billion, Brown was able to secure a $15 billion surplus in addition to the $15 billion already in the state's rainy day fund.

Newsom's fiscal blueprint assumes continued economic growth of at least 3 percent a year but cautions a recession could transform an existing budget surplus of more than $21 billion left by his predecessor and fellow Democrat, Jerry Brown, into a $40 billion deficit over three years.

"I am pleased that Governor Newsom is placing a top priority on education and look forward to a strong, productive partnership with him, the Legislature, and all stakeholders in the next few years that will lift up all of our students by improving our education system and increasing the resources that go to our schools", he said.

The new governor's budget includes $13.6 billion to build the state's reserves and to pay down state debt and its growing pension liability.

At his first inaugural address since winning the election in November, Newsom promised a bold budget that would increase the year's previous budget by four percent.

His proposal would use $4 billion to pay off debts accumulated during the Great Recession as the state borrowed from dedicated funds, including transportation accounts, to pay for general expenses.

He also wants a big boost in funding to provide full-day preschool and kindergarten to all children. He also wants to boost a tax credit for families by more than half-a-billion dollars and expand access to the credit to 400,000 more low-income workers.

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He's proposing $1.4 billion for higher education.

The Legislature scrapped the idea after protests from the agricultural community and the Association of California Water Agencies, which represents more than 400 water districts, and it became clear that it was proving increasingly hard to secure the two-thirds super-majority needed to impose a new tax.

A total $402 million is proposed to promote expanded enrollments at community colleges, as well as "legal services for undocumented students and families, and a second year of free tuition" for qualifying students.

"Governor Newsom hit a home run in his first budget in education and across the board".

Newsom's pledging $1.75 billion toward the crisis, saying he's "not playing small ball".

Efforts to help ease California's housing and homelessness crises would also be bolstered under the spending plan, with $500 million to be set aside to help local governments build shelters and add services to help the homeless. He wants to make a $3 billion one-time payment to California's teacher pension fund on behalf of schools to help districts that are seeing more of their budgets eaten up by pension obligations. He wants to increase subsidies for people who buy their own insurance, rather than getting it from an employer or government program. It's the Democratic governor's opening request in six months of budget negotiations with legislative leaders.

And he plans to propose a significant expansion of California's paid leave program, which allows new parents to receive a portion of their paycheck while away from work following the birth or adoption of a child. The program is funded through a payroll tax.

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