Gov. Newsom releases $144B California budget

Maricruz Casares
Enero 11, 2019

Newsom's plan includes $13.6 billion to boost reserves and pay down debt and pension liabilities.

Newsom said he also plans to put $25 million in general fund dollars into safe drinking water efforts to jump-start the effort.

Newsom, in rolling out the proposal, told reporters that 1 million Californians lack safe drinking water.

The budget expands the earned income tax credit, adds $1.3 billion for housing development and almost $2 billion for early childhood education and care. He's framed his budget as a "California for All" agenda that looks to close the gaps between rich and poor.

California has seen revenue soar amid a thriving economy.

The nonpartisan legislative analyst projected in November that lawmakers would have a $15 billion surplus to allocate next year on top of $15 billion in the rainy day fund, which is at the maximum allowed under the state Constitution.

It's the largest projected California budget surplus since at least 2000, according to state finance officials.

He promised in his inaugural address Monday that his budget would be bold.

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"We will aim high and we will work like hell to get there", he said.

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.

Budget highlights include $750 million to expand full-day kindergarten, $402 million for community colleges, including a second year of tuition-free education to full-time students, and $125 million to help phase in universal preschool for all income-eligible 4-year-old children over the next three years.

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 age of 19. He wants to increase subsidies for people who buy their own insurance, rather than getting it from an employer or government program.

Details of Newsom's plan weren't immediately available, but last year's proposal would have taxed residential customers 95 cents a month, to raise about $110 million a year. 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.

Former Gov. Jerry Brown tried to resurrect the program last fall as a voluntary tax, but that died in the Legislature as well.

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