Pandemic Pushes California Lawmakers Into Fast Action on State Budget

Friday, January 15, 2021

Publication: KQED Radio/The California Report

California lawmakers are wasting little time debating the $227 billion budget proposal Gov. Gavin Newsom announced last week.

In a break with the normally slow-moving process that drags out for months, budget committees in both the Assembly and state Senate convened this week to review the governor's spending plan, which includes immediate financial relief to families and businesses hard hit by the pandemic.

Newsom and lawmakers are aiming to send out immediate relief funding by the end of January, ahead of when the majority of the budget will be implemented in July.

During a meeting of the Assembly Budget Committee on Monday, Chair Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, said much of what Newsom proposed matches up with the Assembly's budget priorities.

"We also wanted to have an adequate response to COVID-19 to ensure that there were investments in public health infrastructure, vaccine distribution, as well as safe reopening of schools," Ting said.