This information was provided by the Office of the Governor.
Governor Gavin Newsom released his 2022-23 state budget proposal on Jan 10, entitled the California Blueprint, to confront “California’s greatest threats, bolster our strong economic growth and make historic investments in California’s future”. The Blueprint proposes billions more to support the state’s response to COVID-19 and nation-leading efforts to fight climate change – including worsening wildfires and drought, tackle persistent inequality and homelessness and keep our streets safe.
The press release which followed the governor’s press conference said the California Blueprint provides a model for the country of how California government can continue providing short-term relief while investing in longer-term solutions that will benefit workers, businesses and families for years to come. The Governor said the plan builds on last year’s California Comeback Plan – the largest recovery package in the nation.
“With major new investments to tackle the greatest threats to our state’s future, the California Blueprint lights the path forward to continue the historic progress we’ve 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,” said Newsom. “As California’s robust recovery continues, we’re doubling down on our work to ensure all our communities can thrive.”
The release said that with a $45.7 billion surplus, the California Blueprint is built on a strong fiscal foundation that includes $34.6 billion in reserves and continues to pay down long-term retirement debts. It also prioritizes one-time spending over ongoing, allocating 86 percent of discretionary general funds to one-time spending.
The proposed budget outlines major investments in the following five areas of focus:
Fighting Covid-19 with science
Governor Newsom’s plan said the government will fight COVID-19 with science, with a focus on keeping schools open and the economy moving. Governor Newsom’s plan will, “protect frontline workers, battle misinformation, and ensure our healthcare system is prepared to handle whatever curveballs COVID-19 may throw at us in 2022.” The Blueprint includes an additional $2.7 billion for additional vaccines, boosters, statewide testing, and increase medical personnel to meet potential surges.
Combating the climate crisis
The release stated that California continues to face extreme weather conditions amid a changing climate. Governor Newsom’s plan will tackle the increasing threat of climate change including by:
- Fighting Wildfires: The Blueprint provides $648 million to support firefighters, and more helicopters and dozers, along with an additional $1.2 billion – building on last year’s $1.5 billion investment – to step-up forest management and other practices that save lives.
- Tackling the Drought: On top of last year’s $5.2 billion water package, the Blueprint makes an additional $750 million investment for immediate drought response to aid residents, farmers, and wildlife as California continues to grapple with a historic drought.
- Forging an Oil-Free Future: The plan will decrease California’s reliance on fossil fuels while preparing our economy and workforce for a clean energy future. California will write the playbook for how America confronts the impacts of climate change – investing billions in climate tech research & development, clean cars, preparing Californians for career opportunities, and preparing infrastructure to withstand extreme weather.
The Governor’s Blueprint states it will ensure vulnerable people have the necessary help to get off the streets and get needed mental health treatment. The plan adds $2 billion for mental health housing and services and clearing encampments. Governor Newsom’s new investments expand on last year’s $12 billion package – all told, creating 55,000 new housing units and treatment slots for people exiting homelessness.
Tackling the cost of living
“Too many Californians find themselves on the wrong end of income inequality – crushed by the rising costs of the most basic expenses like healthcare, housing, child care, and keeping the doors of a small business open,” the release said.. Governor Newsom’s plan seeks to bring down the costs of those everyday expenses. The Governor’s Blueprint will:
- Create Universal Access to Healthcare Coverage: Governor Newsom’s Blueprint will make California the first state in the nation to offer universal access to healthcare coverage for all state residents, regardless of immigration status.
- Confront the cost of childcare and education: The plan invests more than ever before in students by doubling down on achieving free universal pre-K, adding thousands of childcare slots and increasing access to before, after, and summer school programs.
- Building More Housing: The Blueprint will create more housing California desperately needs with $2 billion in new grants and tax credits.
- Growing Small Businesses: Newsom’s plan will invest even more in small businesses – cutting red tape, waiving fees and providing hundreds of millions in grants and tax breaks to small businesses suffering from the pandemic.
Keeping our streets safe
Governor Newsom’s Blueprint includes his Real Public Safety Plan, which focuses on three key areas to fight and prevent crime:
- Bolstering law enforcement and local response to stop and apprehend criminals, including $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.
- More prosecutors to hold perpetrators accountable, ensuring District Attorneys are effectively and efficiently prosecuting criminals, and creating a new statewide team of investigators and prosecutors to go after perpetrators.
- Getting guns and drugs off our streets – creating a new statewide gun buyback program, holding the gun industry accountable with nation-leading legislation, and intercepting drugs at the border.
For further information on these and other items in the California Blueprint, visit www.ebudget.ca.gov.