Gov Gavin Newsom Unveils First State Budget

Governor Gavin Newsom first state budget plan totals 144 billion dollars in general fund spending.

Newsom's proposal, released Thursday, marks a 4 percent increase over the last budget approved by his predecessor, Jerry Brown. It's the Democratic governor's opening request in six months of budget negotiations with legislative leaders. He says 86 percent of the new spending is for one-time investments.

California has seen revenue soar amid a thriving economy.  Newsom's plan includes 13.6 billion dollars to boost reserves and pay down debt and pension liabilities.

The budget expands the earned income tax credit, adds 1.3 billion dollars for housing development and nearly 2 billion dollars for early childhood education and care.Including bonds and special funds the total budget is 209 billion dollars.

Lawmakers must approve a spending plan by June 15.  Democrats on Thursday praised the proposals in the budget, while Republicans said he is not doing enough to prepare for an inevitable recession.

 

Newsom says California is "not playing small ball" as he seeks more than $1 billion to combat the most populous state's homeless problem by encouraging new affordable housing.

His budget proposes 1.3 billion dollars in one-time funds for housing development.

He's seeking to expand state tax credits to encourage more low- and moderate-income housing. He also wants to build housing on surplus state property.

He plans to give local officials money for homeless shelters, and take it away if they don't meet state goals.

He will also seek to ease environmental protection laws to help encourage more housing.

The Democratic chairman of the Senate Housing Committee, Senator Scott Wiener of San Francisco, called it a bold proposal to help overcome the state's need for 3.5 million new homes.

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