California Budget Highlights

Today, Gov. Gavin Newsom released his proposed 2021-2022 budget, totaling $227 billion dollars in spending. Newsom and the Legislature will use the initial plan to work toward passing a final budget by the June 15 deadline.

Before then, Newsom has asked the Legislature to immediately act and approve $5 billion in funding to support the safe reopening of schools, small business grants and fee waivers and stimulus funds for low-income Californians.

The full budget is available here, but below are some quick highlights:

COVID-19

  • $300 million for COVID-19 vaccine distribution to expand the state’s management system, further develop transportation and storage supplies and expand California’s ongoing public education campaign.
  • $2.4 billion for a $600 state stimulus check for low-income Californians and an expanded eviction moratorium for the state’s renters.

ENERGY & INFRASTRUCTURE

  • $1.5 billion to promote low carbon green growth and accelerate progress on the state’s zero-emission vehicle goals. Funds would help improve access to cleaner vehicles and support the adoption of clean trucks, buses and off-road freight equipment as well as the construction of electric charging and hydrogen fueling stations.
  • $385 million in sustainable agriculture investments, including $50 million in Climate Smart Agriculture loans to advance projects like renewable energy systems, energy storage and water efficiency.
  • $1 billion for wildfire resiliency and emergency response, supporting forest management initiatives, more fire crews, helicopters, large air tankers and other technologies.

EDUCATION

  • $2 billion to support and accelerate the state’s return to in-person instruction beginning in February, phasing in California’s youngest students first. Funds can help support school safety, including supplementing in-person teacher salaries, coronavirus testing and personal protective equipment.
  • $4.6 billion to extend learning time, including summer and before/after school to address learning loss and inequities.
  • $353 million to support workforce development and develop better linkages between California’s higher learning institutions and gainful employment, as well as support apprenticeships and work-based learning opportunities with employers.
  • $410 million paydown for unfunded liabilities associated with the California Teachers’ Retirement System, as well as $1.5 billion towards the California Public Employees’ Retirement System’s unfunded liability.

SMALL BUSINESS

  • $575 million for the Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program, which offers grants up to $25,000 for small businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.
  • $70.6 million for fee waivers for impacted small businesses like barbers, cosmetologists and manicurists along with other entities like restaurants and bars that have been heavily impacted by health and safety restrictions associated with the pandemic.

AGING

  • $250 million for the state to preserve and expand housing for low-income seniors who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
  • $3 million for the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to grow and diversify the geriatric medicine workforce.
  • $4 million towards Alzheimer’s research with a focus on disproportionately impacted groups and communities like women and people of color.
  • Newsom’s Master Plan on Aging and Task Force on Alzheimer’s, aligned with the above budget items, will form a comprehensive set of recommendations that aim to prepare the state for significant demographic changes in the years ahead related to aging.