Gov. Newsom Offers $144 Billion Budget, Ups Savings


The blueprint includes $13.6 billion Newsom has proposed setting aside for what he called "budget resiliency", with those monies earmarked to pay down unfunded retirement liabilities, to build on California's rainy-day cash reserve and to retire some of the state's debt.

Gavin Newsom will propose his first-ever state budget on Thursday, just three days after being sworn in and as the state continues to be awash in black ink.

The known details of the new budget include a $2 billion plan to support low-income children, with much of the money going toward the construction of childcare facilities and kindergarten classrooms. He's framed his budget as a "California for All" agenda that looks to close the gaps between rich and poor.

With additional bond fund revenue and "special fund" allocations of $64.8 billion, total state spending proposed by Newsom for the upcoming fiscal year that begins in July would come to $209 billion.

"I'm about to announce an interesting surplus - that will be a little more interesting than the one you've been reading about or writing about", he told reporters after announcing new wildfire prevention efforts in Colfax on Tuesday.

Among the budget items that Newsom has already outlined are a almost $2 billion plan to support low-income children, with much of the money earmarked for construction of childcare facilities and kindergarten classrooms.

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Taking a page from Brown's budget playbook, which targets as much new spending as possible on one-time expenditures that don't carry a long-term cost, Newsom has focused much of his new early childhood spending on construction projects. That will limit the long-term cost of his initiative and help Newsom maintain his pledge to preserve rainy day savings. That tally amounts to an increase of $5,000 per student compared with spending levels seven years ago, the budget said.

Helping low-income children in the crucial early years of life, when brains are developing rapidly, was a central campaign promise for Newsom, who has four young children and was elected with an overwhelming majority in November.

Newsom has also proposed expanding state-funded health care to low-income people living in the country illegally until their 26th birthday, up from a current cutoff at age 19.

Newsom also plans to increase subsidies for people who buy their own insurance, rather than getting it from an employer or government program.

$40 million for a second free year of community college tuition.

A significant (but unknown) investment toward a major expansion of California's paid family leave program. Newsom wants to eventually offer six months of leave to be split between the parents, though his initial budget will include a smaller step in that direction. Newsom wants to allow new parents to take up to six months of paid time off from their jobs, up from the current six weeks. The program is funded through a payroll tax.