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$200 checks? CA leaders plan how to spend record budget surplus

California’s budget surplus has soared to a record $ 68 billion, the Senate Democrats said Thursday, fueling a series of new spending proposals that include a $ 8 billion refund to taxpayers in the form of $ 200 checks. In January, Democratic Gavin Newsom estimated that California would have a $ 29 billion surplus this year. But since then the state has collected far more taxes than it expected, as the rich – who pay much higher taxes in California – have become richer. The new projected surplus is an estimate based on preliminary figures from the Office of Legislative Analysts. The official estimate will be announced next month after tax collection is completed in April. But Wednesday’s announcement confirms that California’s budget surplus will be much larger than previously announced. The package includes a “Better for Families discount”, which will send a $ 200 check to any taxpayer who makes less than $ 125,000 a year or $ 250,000 a year for couples filing jointly. The state would also send $ 200 checks to each dependent, meaning a family of five would receive $ 1,000. The proposal pits Democrats against Newsom, which has proposed sending $ 800 checks to people who own cars in California to help offset record high gas prices. Newsom says its plan will cost about $ 9 billion BELOW VIDEO Governor Newsom announces details of gas cut proposal to send checks to car owners Both Newsom and Democratic lawmakers who control the Legislature have said they want to hand over those controls to taxpayers as soon as possible. But so far, they have not been able to agree on how to do it. In general, Democratic lawmakers do not like Newsom’s plan because it would only benefit car owners. Newsom’s plan also includes $ 750 million to provide people with free three-month public transportation. “We are ready to act as soon as the Governor joins us in supporting a plan that provides greater relief to California families,” said the top two leaders in the legislature. Pro-Tempore Senate President Toni Atkins and Assembly President Anthony Rendon said in a joint statement earlier this week. The Senate Expenditure Plan also proposes billions of dollars in small business assistance. Includes $ 10 billion in 10-year discounts on businesses with 250 or fewer employees. This would effectively serve as a tax cut for small business owners who have to repay a debt owed to the state’s trust fund. The plan would also provide about $ 500 million in business grants to up to 150 employees to offset a new law which requires them to give employees up to two weeks of paid sick leave due to the coronavirus pandemic. The plan will not only cost money. It would also put more money into state savings accounts, bringing the state’s reserves to a total of $ 43.1 billion – the most. is the second highest in the country – and is setting up a $ 10 billion Mental Health Infrastructure Fund to help pay for the state’s multi-faceted homeless population, which includes many people with mental illness. BELOW VIDEO “California Republicans are calling for a suspension of the state gas tax to provide the ‘necessary relief’ to the workforce needed to provide much-needed assistance,” Republican Sen. Patricia Bates said last week when announcing the plan. Republicans control only nine of the 40 Senate seats, which means they can not pass their budget priorities on their own. The Senate Democrats’ proposal represents only one side of the budget negotiations. Any budget proposal must also be approved by the Democrat-controlled State Assembly and Newsom. Newsom is scheduled to update its budget proposal by May 15th. “With this budget, the Legislature and the Governor will follow the same responsible and effective path that we have followed for over a decade now. “Only this year are we able to help even more people, enhance their ability to make their dreams come true, and ensure that there are both resources and a fairer system now and for future generations of Californians,” Atkins said. news.

California’s budget surplus has skyrocketed to $ 68 billion, the Senate Democrats said Thursday, fueling a series of new spending proposals that include a $ 8 billion refund to taxpayers in the form of $ 200 checks.

In January, Democratic Gavin Newsom estimated that California would have a $ 29 billion surplus this year. But since then, the state has collected far more taxes than it expected, as wealthy people – who pay much higher taxes in California – have become richer.

The new projected surplus is an estimate based on preliminary figures from the Office of the Legislative Analyst. The official estimate will be announced next month after tax collection is completed in April. But Wednesday’s announcement confirms that California’s budget surplus will be much larger than previously announced.

On Wednesday, Democrats controlling a majority of seats in the state Senate revealed how they would spend the money. The package includes a “Better for Families discount”, which will send a $ 200 check to any taxpayer who makes less than $ 125,000 a year or $ 250,000 a year for couples filing jointly. The state would also send $ 200 checks to each dependent, meaning a family of five would receive $ 1,000.

This proposal puts Democrats at odds with Newsom, who has proposed sending checks as big as $ 800 for people who own cars in California to help offset record high gas prices. Newsom says his plan will cost about $ 9 billion.

| BELOW VIDEO Governor Newsom Announces Details of Gas Discount Proposal to Send Checks to Vehicle Owners

Both Newsom and Democratic lawmakers who control the legislature have said they want to pass those controls on taxpayers as soon as possible. But so far, they have not been able to agree on how to do it. In general, Democratic lawmakers do not like Newsom’s plan because it would only benefit car owners. Newsom’s plan also includes $ 750 million to provide people with free three-month public transportation.

“We are ready to act as soon as the Gov. joins us to support a plan that provides stronger relief to California families,” said Pro Senate President Pro Tempore Tony Atkins, President of the Senate, in a joint statement. Anthony Rendon Assembly. this week.

The Senate Expenditure Plan also proposes billions of dollars in small business assistance. Includes $ 10 billion in 10-year discounts on businesses with 250 or fewer employees. This would effectively serve as a tax deduction for small business owners who have to repay a debt owed to the State Unemployment Fund.

The plan will also provide about $ 500 million in grants to companies with up to 150 employees to offset the cost of a new law that requires them to give employees up to two weeks off. paid sick leave due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The plan will not only spend money. It would also put more money into state savings accounts, raising state reserves to a total of $ 43.1 billion – the largest ever.

Senate Republicans have proposed their own priorities, which include: suspension of the state gas tax – which’s 51.1 cents per gallon is the second highest in the country – and creating a $ 10 billion Mental Health Infrastructure Fund to help pay for the state’s homeless population, which includes many people with mental health problems. illnesses.

| BELOW VIDEO California Republicans call for state gas tax suspension to provide ‘much needed relief’

“We have been ignoring the mental health and substance abuse needs of many Californians for too long, mainly because we have failed to invest in the facilities and manpower needed to provide the help we need,” Republican Sen. Patricia Bates said in a statement last week. of the design.

Republicans control only nine of the 40 Senate seats, meaning they can not pass their budgetary priorities on their own.

The Senate Democrats’ proposal represents only one side of the budget negotiations. Any budget proposal must also be approved by the Democrat-controlled State Assembly and Newsom. Newsom is scheduled to update its budget proposal by May 15th.

“With this budget, the Legislature and the Governor will follow the same responsible and effective path that we have followed for over a decade. “Only this year are we able to help even more people, enhance their ability to make their dreams come true and ensure that there are both resources and a fairer system now and for future generations of Californians,” Atkins said. news.

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