Governor Newsom Releases State Budget Proposal

Industry News,

Governor Calls Proposal “California Blueprint to Take on the State’s Greatest Existential Threats and Build on Historic Progress”

From Governor’s Press Release

On January 10, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom announced his 2022-23 state budget proposal referred to as the “California Blueprint,” which the Governor describes as a “bold plan building on the state’s ongoing work to confront California’s greatest existential threats, bolster our strong economic growth and make historic investments in California’s future.”  The budget proposal contains billions more to support the state’s response to COVID-19 and funds backing the State’s efforts to fight climate change – including worsening wildfires and drought, tackle persistent inequality and homelessness and keep our streets safe.

“With major new investments to tackle the greatest threats to our state’s future, the California Blueprint lights the path forward to continue the historic progress we’ve made on our short-term and long-term challenges, including responding to the evolving pandemic, fighting the climate crisis, taking on persistent inequality and homelessness, keeping our streets safe and more,” said Governor Newsom. “As California’s robust recovery continues, we’re doubling down on our work to ensure all our communities can thrive.”

With this year’s $45.7 billion budget surplus, the new budget proposal is built on what is described as a “strong fiscal foundation” that includes $34.6 billion in reserves and continues to pay down long-term retirement debts. It also appropriately prioritizes one-time spending over ongoing, allocating 86% of discretionary general funds to one-time spending.  The Governor’s budget proposal includes investments in the following five areas of focus:

Fighting Covid-19 Through Science

The plan will strive to protect Californians by fighting COVID with science, with a focus on keeping schools open and the economy moving. The plan seeks to protect frontline workers, battle misinformation, and ensure our healthcare system is prepared to handle resulting challenges of COVID-19. The proposed budget includes an additional $2.7 billion to ramp-up vaccines, boosters, statewide testing, and increase medical personnel to meet potential surges.

Combating the Climate Crisis

Governor Newsom’s plan addresses concerns regarding the increasing threat of climate change including by:

Fighting Wildfires: The budget proposal provides $648 million to support firefighters, and more helicopters and dozers, along with an additional $1.2 billion – building on last year’s $1.5 billion investment – to step-up forest management and other practices that save lives.

Tackling the Drought: In addition to last year’s $5.2 billion water package, the proposed budget provides for an additional $750 million for drought response to aid residents, farmers, and wildlife as California continues to grapple with a historic drought.

Forging an Oil-Free Future: The budget plan will attempt to decrease California’s reliance on fossil fuels while preparing our economy and workforce for a clean energy future. California will write the playbook for how America confronts the impacts of climate change – investing billions in climate technology research and development, clean cars, preparing Californians for career opportunities, and further readying our infrastructure to withstand extreme weather.

Confronting Homelessness

The Governor’s proposed budget will address the needs of vulnerable people and provide necessary help to homeless individuals to get off streets and get the mental health treatment they need. The plan adds $2 billion for mental health housing and services and clearing encampments. Governor Newsom’s proposed investments expand on last year’s $12 billion package – all told, creating 55,000 new housing units and treatment slots for people exiting homelessness.

Tackling the Cost of Living

Addressing the concern that too many Californians find themselves on the wrong end of income inequality – crushed by the rising costs of the most basic expenses like healthcare, housing, childcare, and keeping the doors of a small business open. Governor Newsom’s plan seeks to bring down the costs of those everyday expenses. The Governor’s budget has allocated resources to address the following:

  • Create Universal Access to Healthcare Coverage: The proposed budget will make California the first state in the nation to offer universal access to healthcare coverage for all state residents, regardless of immigration status.
  • Confront the Cost of Childcare and Education: The budget plan invests more than ever before in our students by doubling down on achieving free universal pre-K, adding thousands of childcare slots and increasing access to before, after, and summer school programs.
  • Building More Housing: The budget proposal will create more housing California desperately needs with $2 billion in new grants and tax credits.
  • Growing Small Businesses: The budget plan will invest even more in small businesses – cutting red tape, waiving fees and providing hundreds of millions in grants and tax breaks to small businesses suffering from the pandemic.

Keeping Our Streets Safe

Governor Newsom’s plan includes his so-called “Real Public Safety Plan,” which focuses on three key areas to fight and prevent crime:

  • Bolstering law enforcement and local response to stop and apprehend criminals, including $255 million in grants to local law enforcement and creating a new Smash and Grab Enforcement Unit to combat organized retail crime and grants for impacted small businesses.
  • More prosecutors to hold perpetrators accountable, ensuring District Attorneys are effectively and efficiently prosecuting criminals, and creating a new statewide team of investigators and prosecutors to go after perpetrators.
  • Getting guns and drugs off our streets – creating a new statewide gun buyback program, holding the gun industry accountable with nation-leading legislation, and intercepting drugs at the border.