Gov. Gavin Newsom announced his budget proposal for 2022-23 on Jan. 10, saying he wants to use some of the stateâs huge budget surplus to confront Californiaâs biggest existential threats.
âWith major new investments to tackle the greatest threats to our stateâs future, the California Blueprint lights the path forward to continue the historic progress weâve made on our short-term and long-term challenges, including responding to the evolving pandemic, fighting the climate crisis, taking on persistent inequality and homelessness, keeping our streets safe and more,â said Newsom in a news release. âAs Californiaâs robust recovery continues, weâre doubling down on our work to ensure all our communities can thrive.â
Newsom said the state has a $45.7 billion surplus and $34.6 billion in reserves.
He said his plan would continue to protect Californians by fighting COVID-19 with science, with a focus on keeping schools open and the economy moving. With the Omicron variant surging throughout the state, Newsom proposed an additional $2.7 billion to ramp up vaccines, boosters, statewide testing, and increase medical personnel.
In addition, he wants to offer universal access to healthcare coverage for all state residents, regardless of immigration status. If this proposal is approved by the Legislature, it would be the first of its kind in the nation.
Newsom also responded to criticism that he is not doing enough to curtail an increase in high-profile robberies and other crimes which have plagued some cities. His proposal includes $255 million in grants to local law enforcement and creating a new Smash and Grab Enforcement Unit to combat organized retail crime and grants for impacted small businesses.
State Sen. Connie Leyva (D-20th District), who represents Fontana and other nearby cities, issued a statement saying:
âThe 2022-23 budget proposal by Gov. Gavin Newsom certainly prioritizes the current and ongoing needs of California residents. In particular, I appreciate his continued focus on strengthening access to childcare, addressing the climate crisis, and improving education.â
Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes (D-47th District), who represents part of Fontana and other cities, said the budget addresses many of the needs that are important to the communities she serves, including âinvestments to replace heavy-duty trucks and buses with zero-emission vehicles, expansion of Californiaâs Earthquake Early Warning System, expansion of small business start-up funding and support as well as the continued investments in the Earned Income Tax Credit and full implementation of Universal Pre-K.â
However, Jessica Millan Patterson, chairwoman of the California Republican Party, issued a statement saying:
âGavin Newsomâs budget gets a big fat F for failing Californians. It has unprecedented spending yet is woefully short on solutions that will fix the problems that are plaguing California.â