California State Budget to Top $286 billion With New Spending on Homeless Aid, Health Care

California will have an estimated $286.4 billion budget next year, which Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday he wants to use to increase funding for heath care, infrastructure and schools.

Newsom’s plan for the 2022-23 budget includes a projected $213.1 billion general fund, anticipating a $45.7 billion surplus.

His spending proposal includes added money for homeless aid and increasing the health care workforce,as well as $34.6 billion for reserve accounts and paying down billions in pension debt.

Some money could go back to taxpayers in the form for rebates, similar to the $600 stimulus checks the state sent to millions of residents over the past year. Newsom said his administration would account for that money in May when he releases budget revisions.

Newsom’s budget proposal kicks off months of negotiations with lawmakers, who must pass a budget by June 15, in time for the July 1 start of the next fiscal year.

California finds itself swimming in money for the second year in a row, a result of the state’s high earners continuing to prosper despite the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Last year’s $262 billion budget benefited from an estimated $80 billion in surplus money.

Among the flashiest proposals Newsom unveiled Monday: an expansion of the state’s health coverage for low-income Californians to include undocumented immigrants of all ages. Currently, undocumented people ages 26-49 are not eligible for the program.

That proposal, like everything in Newsom’s budget plan is subject to legislative approval. Under Newsom’s plan, the expansion wouldn’t take effect for two years.

Newsom is also proposing to add $2 billion in homeless aid, on top of the $12 billion he and lawmakers passed last year.

Most of that new money would go to quickly trying to get people off the streets and get them help, Newsom said. About $500 million would go toward cleaning up homeless encampments.

Newsom also said he wants to do more on conservatorships to compel more homeless people into treatment, but declined to give details.

Newsom’s budget plan includes new spending on recruiting, training and hiring more health care workers, including doctors, nurses, social workers and a new kind of worker the administration calls “community health workers.”

That funding would come on top of the $2.7 billion in COVID-19 response funding Newsom called for lawmakers to approve Saturday, and would be focused on longer-term health workforce development.

Newsom’s budget also includes increased funding for fighting fires and drought, as well as to boost rural industries.

Click here to read the full article at the Sacramento Bee

Comments

  1. Stan Sexton says

    We can’t forget those CALPERS pensions over 400k and many over 200k per year. And many CALSTRS pensions as well. The State has been creating millionaires since SB400 in 1999.

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