California lawmakers to vote on $307.9 billion spending plan, includes inflation relief package

SACRAMEDO, CA – California lawmakers on Wednesday pledged a $ 308 billion state budget to fund a Democrat wish list with public spending on everything from expanded health care for immigrants and low-income residents to helping low-income taxpayers and low-income retirees. more women have access to abortion care.

The central element of the operating budget created by Democratic Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders is $ 17 billion in new spending aimed at providing relief for the skyrocketing inflation that has pushed up prices for most things, especially gasoline.

Some 23 million people will receive cash payments of between $ 200 and $ 1,050 to pay for gas, which averaged more than $ 6.30 a gallon in California on Tuesday. How much people will get will depend on how much they get. Only couples earning less than $ 500,000 per year and unmarried couples earning less than $ 250,000 per year will be eligible.

Businesses will receive $ 2.3 billion, including an annual suspension of the diesel sales tax that cuts costs by about 23 cents per gallon. Between 80% and 90% of diesel fuel customers in California are business owners, according to the California Treasury Department.

The spending package “represents the largest state budget – I’m not just talking about California, but any state in U.S. history,” said Sen. Nancy Skinner, a Berkeley Democrat and chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee.

Meanwhile, the state tax on sales of gasoline, the second highest in the country at 51.1 cents per gallon, will rise by almost another 3 cents on Friday, as part of an annual recalculation to keep pace with inflation. Republicans tried in vain to persuade Democrats to suspend the sales tax for a year, arguing that it would benefit taxpayers faster than a rebate.

“The governor could have suspended the gas tax or stopped the gas tax increase that will happen on Friday, July 1. He did not, “said Republican Rep. Vince Fong, vice chairman of the convention’s Budget Committee. “In the face of rising inflation, Californians will see more cost in their daily lives than the Governor’s rhetoric.”

Newsom and Democrats in the Legislature say they do not want to suspend the state tax on gasoline because they do not trust the big oil companies and refineries to pass the savings on to drivers. They agreed to suspend the state tax on diesel because this tax is calculated differently.

The budget also commits to making California the first state to provide free health care to all low-income adults, regardless of their immigration status. The Medicaid program in California already covers people aged 50 and over and 26 and under who live illegally in the country. The new spending plan will include all the others, costing about $ 2.6 billion a year once fully implemented.

“As the pandemic points out, our individual health is linked to the health of our community and we all benefit when we all have access to primary, preventive and comprehensive care,” said Jose Torres, a political and legal advocate for Health Access California. Consumer Health Advocacy Team.

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, California’s budget also includes more than $ 200 million to support clinical abortions and other reproductive health services. The cost includes $ 40 million to cover abortions for women who cannot afford it, plus another $ 20 million for travel expenses – but only for intra-state travel.

California’s revenue has risen despite the pandemic, largely due to a stock market spike that has made the rich richer in a state with a disproportionate number of millionaires and billionaires paying higher taxes than other states.

But the non-partisan Bureau of Legislative Analysts recently warned that the economy is at increased risk of recession. To prepare, the budget proposal leaves the state with $ 37.2 billion in reserves.

Copyright © 2022 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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California lawmakers to vote on $307.9 billion spending plan, includes inflation relief package Source link California lawmakers to vote on $307.9 billion spending plan, includes inflation relief package

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