California Governor Newsom unveils $97.5 billion historic budget surplus

Sacramento, California — California is entering the next budget year with a record-breaking surplus of nearly $100 billion, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday.

Newsom has unveiled a revised budget plan of just over $300 billion for the upcoming fiscal year, the highest in the state’s history and fueled by rising tax revenues. The state collected $55 billion more in taxes than officials expected in January, leaving it with an estimated surplus of $97.5 billion.

That means Newsom, a Democrat, has tens of billions of dollars to spend on new and existing initiatives as he seeks re-election in the fall. Additional spending is planned to address the ongoing dehydration, to help more women get abortions in California and offset the rising costs of food, gas and other goods due to inflation.

He will have to reach agreement with the Democratic-led legislature on all of his proposals. They have until the end of June to finalize the budget, which goes into effect on July 1.

Newsom said one of his main budget priorities is providing California residents with relief from inflation.

“People are feeling deep pressure and deep anxiety,” he said.

He suggested giving $400 checks to state-registered car owners, with up to two checks per person. That would cost the state about $11.5 billion, he said. Although the money will only go to car owners, Newsom said it should be considered “inflation recovery and relief.”

“For you, it could be a discount to tackle the grocery problem, and it could be a discount to address your other cost burdens,” he said.

But Democratic lawmakers have a different idea of ​​how to provide relief. They want to give checks of $200 only to those below a certain income level.

Meanwhile, Republicans say, instead of checking Newsom, he should suspend the state’s highest gas tax for one year. They also asked him to increase the tax credit for renters and offer new tax credits to students.

“Senate Republicans believe there is a better way to invest in the state,” said Senator Rosellessi Ochoa Pugh of Yucaipa.

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