Governor Gavin Newsom unveils a revised State Budget with a surplus of $97.5 billion. This is the biggest surplus that both California and the nation have had.
The surplus is fueled by taxpayers. Since January, California has gathered $55 billion from taxes which leaves the state with a surplus of 97.5 billion. Newsom plans to use a total of $300.7 billion for the next fiscal year.
“In American history, we’ve never experienced a surplus as large as this. In fact, this is actually significantly larger than last year’s operating surplus around 75.6 billion dollars,” said Newsom.
By law, it is required that half of the surplus is spent on education which leaves $49 billion of the May revision to spend on other needs. The four main focuses on spending are education, inflation refund and relief, infrastructure investments, and the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
Gavin Newsom plans to spend 128.3 billion on TK-12 education with the addition of 48 billion of the surplus included. Some of the spending plans include universal Pre-K as a whole new grade, expanded summer programs, before and after school programs, reduced class sizes, and special education.
- $5 billion for zero-interest loans for public campuses to help students with debt.
- $1.6 billion will be spent on helping students set roadmaps to higher education to help with graduation rates.
- $1.5 billion for housing grants to students with low-income.
- $800 million to improve statewide teacher shortage.
Inflation refund and relief
Gavin Newsom wants to put money back into the pockets of Californians to help community members with inflation and gas prices rising. Newsom included an inflation relief package of $18.1 billion.
- $11.5 billion for those who are registered in the state as car owners are expected to receive a $400 check. The money would only go to car owners because it is considered an inflation refund and relief, according to Newsom.
- $2.7 billion was proposed to use in emergency rental assistance for those affected by the pandemic.
- $933 million in health care worker retention stipends which would include $1,000 checks to 600,000 hospital and nursing facility workers.
- $750 million in free public transit for 3 months.
Gavin Newsom believes that this budget will help push California to the future. With the May revision, an additional $17 billion will be added to this fund with a total of $37 billion for infrastructure investments which would include:
- $6.2 billion in energy
- $5.6 billion TK-16 infrastructure
- $1.8 billion for droughts and water
- $1.2 billion housing and homelessness.
The ongoing fight against COVID-19
Gavin Newsom proposed an additional $1.1 billion to continue fighting COVID-19 with science. With the January and May revisions, the total for this fund is $2.3 billion. Newsom also explained the SMARTER Plan which involves “moving quickly and efficiently and effectively and that’s reflected in detail in the plan.”
- $520 million on testing and laboratory costs
- $158 million to implement the federal program for COVID19 drugs.
- $ 346 Million for vulnerable populations
- $180 million for vaccines
The Assembly and the state Senate will decide which priorities they want to finalize before the June 15 deadline to start the fiscal year on July 1.