California Lawmakers Approve Coronavirus-era Budget That Mostly Avoids Deep Cuts

Friday, June 26, 2020

Publication: San Francisco Chronicle

SACRAMENTO — The California Legislature approved a $202 billion state budget deal that largely avoids widespread cuts to public services to close a multibillion-dollar deficit caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The agreement, which went to Gov. Gavin Newsom for his signature after the Assembly gave final approval Friday, relies on reserve accounts and internal borrowing — as well as the hope of a federal bailout — to maintain education, health care and social services spending.

But some programs would suffer significant reductions, including hundreds of millions for subsidized preschool slots, child care centers and environmental protection.

“We could have made more cuts. We could have had a budget that was better for our bond rating,” Assemblyman Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, said on the Assembly floor. “We could have done something that was better for Wall Street, but in the end, we wanted to make sure the money got to Main Street.”