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COVID-19 relief, vaccines and school reopening key focus to Gov. Newsom’s $227B budget plan

GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday released a plan calling for $15 billion in economic relief for Californians as part of his $227 billion plan as the state confronts a surge of coronavirus cases and deaths.


The budget proposal tackles several urgent needs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic: Coronavirus vaccinations, reopening schools for in-person learning, aiding small businesses and other economic relief.

Here's some of what Newsom is proposing:

  • Newsom is calling $600 stimulus payments  for those who make less than $30,000 a year. About 4 million people would be eligible for the payment and it would cost the state an estimated $2.4 billion. Newsom is also asking lawmakers to extend a moratorium on evictions.
  • $4.4 billion was also proposed for COVID-19 relief emergency response, which includes $2 billion for testing, $473 million for contact tracing and $372 million for vaccines.
  • Newsom wants to spend more than $4 billion to create jobs and help small businesses to recover from the economic downtown brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. He's proposing some $575 million for small business grants.
  • He wants to give schools $2 billion to help pay for testing, ventilation and personal protective equipment as he seeks a return to in-person instruction, for which he has received lukewarm support from teachers unions and school districts.

To watch the full presentation below:

Newsom’s proposal is just the first step in the budget process. Lawmakers must still vet his ideas and vote on them, a process that usually isn’t completed until mid-June so the budget can take effect July 1. This year, Newsom is asking lawmakers to act earlier on some of his proposals.

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Dani Romero

The Associated Press

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