Governor Newsom’s first California budget is Substantially Larger than Jerry Brown’s Last One
California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom, unveiled his first California budget proposal last month and it’s an $8 billion increase over Jerry Brown’s last budget. Governor Newsom plans on pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into housing and homelessness. These two issues were a major part of his campaign last year that he promised he would address. Governor Newsom claims that he wants to cut red tape to spur housing construction, which he will do by waiving environmental reviews for certain projects and reviewing the state’s developer impact fees. At a press conference last month, he stated the following,
We have a supply and demand imbalance in this state. Until we get serious about it, the state will continue to lose its middle class… If we continue down this path, the state is going to be a vestige of itself.
Governor Newsom’s 2019-20 budget proposal tops $209 billion and it includes a $144 billion general fund, which is a 4 percent increase over the spending plan former Governor Brown signed in June. Governor Newsom claims that much of the increased spending is going to one-time projects, such as lump payments toward the state’s public employee pension debts and grants for special programs. He wants to continue setting aside money in reserves and claims that spending will not be locked in if a recession hits, which would result in a decrease in tax revenue. According to the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the state is projected to have an additional $14.8 billion surplus that lawmakers and Governor Newsom could use on several things. We will have to wait and see how the money is actually spent.