What to know – San Bernardino Sun

The California Legislature officially sent off a $300 billion budget proposal to Gov. Gavin Newsom this week — but the work is far from complete. 

“The budget passed by the Legislature today is the results of months of often grinding work and negotiation by our budget committees, subcommittees, and staff and includes elements of the Governor’s budget proposals from January and May,” Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, said in a joint statement Monday. 

The legislature faced a looming June 15 deadline to pass the budget.

From housing to gas relief to what’s next with negotiations, here’s a look at five things to know about the legislative proposal. 

Gas relief

The legislature’s proposal includes $8 billion for what it calls a “Better For Families (BFF) Rebates” program to offset the skyrocketing cost of gasoline. The rebate would provide $200 per taxpayer and dependent for those with incomes less than $125,000 or $250,000 for joint filers. 

A family of four under this income category, for example, would receive $800. 

Newsom’s plan, however, would provide a one-time refund of $400 to each eligible owner of a registered vehicle with a cap of $800 per person. 


More than $40 billion is earmarked for infrastructure needs, including housing, in the legislature’s proposal. 

The legislature wants to establish a $1 billion new, annual program, called California Dream For All, to help first-time homebuyers purchase a house with lower down payments and monthly mortgage costs. 

The legislature’s budget funds many of the Newsom administration’s housing proposals — including $150 million over two years for the preservation of existing affordable housing.

Additionally, it puts forth $2 billion over three years for student housing projects across the University of California, California State University, and California Community College systems.


The governor had proposed spending $22.5 billion over five years for investments into education, energy, drought, health, transportation and more. His plan specifically detailed how and where the money should be spent. 

The legislature, too, said about $21 billion should be spent on climate and energy initiatives. However, details for where the money would be allocated are still to be determined, according to the budget summary. 


Even though the legislature sent its budget to the governor, negotiations are ongoing with a final budget package not expected until the end of the month. 

And even then, don’t expect all the details of bigger packages, such as the $21 billion climate and energy plan, to be hammered out before California’s new fiscal year begins on July 1, according to a legislative budget staffer. Those nitty-gritty details will most likely still be worked on through July or even August. 

Anthony York, Newsom’s senior adviser for communications, said the initial package from the legislature was “an important step forward” but “there is more work to be done.” 

“Governor Newsom would like to see more immediate, direct relief to help millions more families with rising gas, groceries and rent prices,” York said in a statement. “The Governor’s plan includes an additional $3.5 billion beyond what legislative leaders have proposed to help millions more people meet everyday costs.” 

“And given the financial storm clouds on the horizon, a final budget must be fiscally responsible. The Governor remains opposed to massive ongoing spending and wants a budget that pays down more of the state’s long-term debts and puts more money into state reserves,” York said. 

The governor’s May budget package earmarked 94% of discretionary funds for one-time projects. Meanwhile, the legislature’s proposal said about 91% of discretionary resources were allocated to temporary purposes or reserves. 

Newsom has 12 working days to sign or veto the budget bill once it’s on his desk. The legislature can override a veto with a two-thirds vote in each house. 

Republican opposition

Predictably, legislative Republicans have expressed apprehension with the budget framework.

Assembly Budget Committee vice chairman Vince Fong, R-Kern County, said the package does not adequately address drought, inflation or wildfires, for example. Fong called for more transparency as the budget talks continue. 

“This budget is incomplete and unsustainable. It is kabuki political theater to meet a Constitutional deadline, and Californians should be rightfully frustrated,” Fong said. “It is a framework that does not deal with the state’s pressing crises.” 

And Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, continued to push the GOP call for a suspension of the gas tax

“With an almost $100 billion surplus, rising gas prices, and skyrocketing inflation, the best relief legislative Democrats came up with is a $200 refund that gets to you months down the road. That’s $16.66 per month, which for the record, won’t even cover your gas taxes paid this year,” said Wilk. “The White House is seriously weighing a federal gas tax holiday. We all know the quickest way to help Californians is by suspending the gas tax, but instead we are stuck with the supermajority’s months-long squabble and broken promises.”

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