Gov. Gavin Newsom file photo
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday released his 2021-22 budget proposal — $227.2 billion in spending, much of it aimed at immediate Covid-19 response and relief efforts.
It proposes $372 million to speed up administration of vaccines across all of California’s 58 counties. It also includes $14 billion for economic recovery to Californians who most need relief — those who have lost their jobs or small businesses, or are facing eviction, according to a news release.
That also includes direct cash support of $600 to millions of Californians through the Golden State Stimulus program.
Legislators and advocacy groups are reacting to Newsom’s proposal. Here is what they are saying.
Sen. Andreas Borgeas (R-Fresno)
“The economic recovery package proposed by the Governor, especially the nearly $1 billion in small business grants, are a step in the right direction. However, it would send a stronger message if small businesses were prioritized over the $1.5 billion investment in electric cars in the midst of economic devastation.
“California’s small businesses have sustained heavy losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, and a more robust capital investment is needed in the Governor’s budget to keep our economy going. That is why 43 legislators in the Senate and Assembly (over one-third of the Legislature) are supporting the bipartisan Keep California Working Act, which would invest $2.6 billion in grants for small businesses and nonprofits. I look forward to working with the Governor and Legislative leadership to get this much-needed relief through the Legislature in a thoughtful yet expedited fashion.
“The Keep California Working Act, also known as Senate Bill 74, is joint-authored by Senator Andreas Borgeas and Senator Anna Caballero (D-Salinas), and has Principal Co-authorship from Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris (D-Laguna Beach). SB 74 has not only garnered significant media attention ahead of the Governor’s budget announcement, but has attracted the support of economic development leaders throughout California recognizing the need for immediate small business investment.”
Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno)
“As we continue to battle the COVID-19 crisis and its calamitous impact on our communities, I find hope in Governor Newsom’s proposed budget. It includes recommendations to support Californians struggling because of the pandemic — many of them are essential workers, who are keeping our economy running and our health care system operating. The fiscal plan also includes $1.1 billion in immediate relief for small businesses that have been devastated by this emergency.
“I’m pleased to see the $2.4 billion ‘Golden State Stimulus’ plan that would include granting a refund payment to recipients of CalEITC, the California Earned Income Tax Credit program that I staunchly support and that last year was made available to eligible low-income families and individuals, including undocumented workers who previously were denied this program.
“I’m also pleased about the proposed $372 million investment to more quickly roll out COVID-19 vaccines to our people. This is a priority for me as well because it is key to reopening our economy safely and strongly while protecting Californians from this horrible virus. But this also relates to an area that is not in the governor’s budget and that I will continue to push for: Assembly Bill 4, Health for All, to ensure that undocumented adults in our state have access to health care. This pandemic has dramatically shown us the inequities in our health care system that trigger acute medical problems and ongoing health issues that impact the quality of life in our most vulnerable communities.
“We are in the midst of one of the most challenging times in our state’s history, and my legislative colleagues know the importance of this moment to help our fellow Californians through this crisis. To that end, there is much to consider as good starting points for negotiations in the Governor’s budget proposal, such as $353 million for workforce development programs that are so needed in our Central Valley region; investments to bolster support for wildfire response; $94.8 million for telehealth efforts to better connect with and serve patients; and $400 million for school-based mental health services.
Assemblymember Jim Patterson (R-Fresno)
“The Governor’s $4.5 billion ‘Equitable Recovery for California’s Businesses and Jobs’ plan isn’t equitable and won’t provide any recovery. This plan foolishly spends $1.5 billion to pay people to buy electric vehicles.
“Another $50 million will fund new stations to charge the State’s electric vehicles.
“What the Governor won’t tell you is he plans to pay for this by taking over a billion dollars in taxes and fees from the same people who are struggling to survive.
“There are millions of people hurting right now and they can’t afford a shiny new electric car. They can barely keep the cars they’ve got. They work in restaurants, retail and the salon industry. They can’t get their unemployment benefits. They are losing homes and having their vehicles repossessed. I guess the Governor’s solution is to send them to the unemployment line in an electric vehicle.”
California Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Allan Zaremberg
“Any and all efforts to provide relief for small businesses, alleviate regulatory burdens and eliminate costs for them as they struggle through this pandemic should continue to be the priority of the Governor and policy makers. The Legislature must act quickly on these proposals. We also appreciate the Governor’s efforts to financially support California employers who invest in the State and provide jobs for our working families.”
California Manufacturers & Technology Association President Lance Hastings
“We appreciate this recovery proposal that benefits small manufacturing operations, and it is the type of dynamic thinking that the state should put into an overall manufacturing retention and attraction plan for the next decade. California’s manufacturers continue to innovate, lead and respond to COVID-related challenges, employing more than 1.2 million workers in hyper-safe environments. Most California manufacturers are under 10 employees and, like large manufacturers, operate at a competitive disadvantage even without a pandemic. The Governor’s focus on small business recovery will help the state’s manufacturing community rebound so it can continue to provide high value jobs to support a production-based economy. The proposed resources in workforce development, job creation, sales tax exclusions, and affordable housing will all contribute to the strength of our manufacturing community and our critical supply chain through the pandemic.”