Newsom Unveils 2021-2022 Budget

Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled his 2021-2022 budget proposal Friday and, as he put it, the state appears to be doing “pretty damn well.”

Despite a global pandemic that forced business closures across the state, California is operating with a $15 billion surplus. The windfall was driven by stock market gains and high profitability in the tech market. Newsom’s $227.2 billion budget includes $15.6 billion in the state’s rainy day fund.

The COVID-19 pandemic remains a top priority for the governor. The budget proposal includes $70 million in relief for small businesses and $600 “rapid cash” grants for low-income workers for a total of $2.4 billion. It also includes $372 million to expedite distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

Project HomeKey, which helps local governments purchase and re-purpose motels for homeless housing, would also be expanded under Newsom’s proposal. His plan calls for $1.75 billion for the purchase of additional motels. So far, the state has awarded $846 million to 51 local agencies under the program.

The budget allocates around $90 billion for K-14 schools, which is the highest level of education funding on record. The education portion includes:

  • $2 billion to aid the safe reopening of schools
  • $400 million for mental health programs in schools
  • A 3.84% cost-of-living adjustment to the LCFF
  • $250 million for the expansion of early learning programs
  • $4.6 billion to reverse “learning loss” that has occurred during the pandemic
  • $786 million for the University of California and California State University systems

The governor made clear that he sees the reopening of campuses as a top priority for the state. He also rejected the idea of tuition increases for California’s public universities.

Read the budget blueprint here.