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Gov. Gavin Newsom Presents $227.2 Billion 2021 California Budget Proposal

File: California Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Courtesy Gov. Newsom's office)
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By Scott Rodd and Nicole Nixon | Capital Public Radio

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Gov. Gavin Newsom is unveiling a $227.2 billion budget proposal today.

The proposal includes $14 billion in programs to assist workers and businesses impacted by the pandemic and to reopen schools. Newsom predicts $34 billion in what he calls "budget resiliency," or a combination of reserves and discretionary surplus, with $15.6 billion coming from the state's rainy day fund.

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This is the beginning of a six-month process where state leaders decide how to spend California taxpayers' money. Here's the timeline:

  • The state Constitution requires the governor to submit a balanced budget proposal by Jan. 10. It's then introduced as identical budget bills in the state Assembly and Senate.
  • By May 14, the governor will present a revised budget proposal. Last year, this included cuts to address a $54 billion deficit following the coronavirus pandemic. This is sometimes called the "May Revise."
  • Lawmakers have until June 15 to pass the budget in the state Legislature.

Newsom has already dropped some hints about what to expect. He's called for billions of dollars to support economic relief and school reopenings during the pandemic. There's also wildfire and other public health-related costs, but it's unclear how much Newsom will want to spend.

Last year, the state dealt with a record-breaking deficit. Thanks to strong economic recovery among wealthier Californians, state fiscal analysts expect a windfall between $15 and $26 billion.

But Newsom and state lawmakers may have different ideas for how to spend that money. The governor's January budget is just a wishlist. He'll spend the next six months negotiating with legislative leaders on a final budget.

This story was originally published by Capital Public Radio.

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