SACRAMENTO, CA (KMJ) – California Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled his $209-billion dollar Proposed Budget on Thursday in Sacramento.
Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2019-20 “California for All” Budget proposal is a “fiscal blueprint that builds a strong financial foundation.”
Gov. Newsom’s Budget boosts funding for public schools and healthcare programs, fight’s the state’s homeless epidemic and prepares for future natural disasters.
Newsom seeks a four percent increase in the State’s general fund spending over his predecessor, Jerry Brown, for a total of $144 billion in general fund spending.
He cautions for the need to protect California’s finances in the event of a recession.
Out of his $209 billion dollar proposed budget, an unprecedented $13.6 billion will go to boost reserves and pay down debt and unfunded pension liabilities.
- $4 billion investment that eliminates all outstanding budgetary debt as well as deferrals
- $4.8 billion to build reserves, bringing the state’s Rainy Day Fund to more than $15 billion this year (the largest amount ever) and nearly $20 billion over four years
- $4.8 billion to pay down unfunded retirement liabilities
Governor Newsom hopes to put away up to nearly $20 billion in the fund by the end of his four-year term.
The balance is projected to reach $15 billion by next summer.
“The message we are advancing here is discipline, building a strong foundation to which everything else can be built,” said Gov. Newsom.
86 percent of the Budget’s new spending will go for one-time investments.
Newsom’s proposal is asking the Legislature to boost funding for early childhood education and healthcare programs, $1.8 billion in mostly in one-time expenses would go to to improve education and encourage more schools to provide full-day kindergarten.
He’s expanding the earned income tax credit to a $1-billion “Working Families Tax Credit,” which doubles the size of California’s existing tax break for low-income workers.
The “Working Families Tax Credit” supports low-income families with young children by providing a $500 credit for families covered by the credit with children under the age of six. The credit will also be expanded to reach full-time workers earning $15 per hour—reaching 400,000 additional families. This expanded credit will be funded as part of a tax conformity package.
Newsom is offering full access to Medi-Cal, California’s low-income healthcare program, for anyone up to age 26 who is in the U.S. illegally. Californians ages 19 or younger are already covered.
The Medi-Cal funds must come from the state due to federal restrictions based on immigration status.
Newsom’s Medi-Cal proposal would be the first of its kind in the nation, puts the estimated cost for the first year at $260 million.
The Governor’s Budget sets aside $500 million in one-time money to help local governments build shelters and add services for the homeless.
$1.3 billion will go to for housing development.
The Budget also expands state tax credits to further develop both low- and moderate-income housing, and proposes new innovative housing on excess state property.
“You don’t reach the goals on housing – to me, transportation is housing, housing is transportation – we have all this new SB1 money, you’re not hitting your goals, I don’t know why you get the money,” said Gov. Newsom.
Newsom is making a commitment to Butte and Lake County residents, back-filling their property tax losses from wildfires.
Newsom’s Budget prepares for future natural disasters, such as wildfires, and earthquakes.
Newsom’s proposal starts six months of negotiations with the Legislature.
Lawmakers then have to approve a balanced spending plan by June 15th or lose their pay. California’s fiscal year begins in July.
The full summary of the Governor’s budget proposal can be found at www.ebudget.ca.gov.
Click to listen to the reports by KMJ’s Liz Kern: