Gov. Gavin Newsom makes high increases to his proposed budget

The new budget proposal will total over $209 billion


Thomas Frey

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom speaking during a forum hosted by the Campaign for College Opportunity as he runs for governor of California. Newsom declared a state of emergency on March 4 in response to the coronavirus.

Steven Bryla

California Governor Gavin Newsom proposed his first budget on Jan. 10, which included a $29 billion increased spending plan compared to the 2018 proposal from former Gov. Jerry Brown.

Newsom’s new $209 billion spending plan includes $144 billion for general funds.

According to the Public Policy Institute of California, the general fund is broken into six categories; corrections and rehabilitation, health and human services, K-12 education, higher education, natural resources and other.

The K-12 education category received the largest proposed amount with $58.7 billion, while health and human services was proposed $40.3 billion.

Higher education was the third-highest proposal in the general fund with $17.2 billion, a $1.7 billion increase from last year.

The California State Universities were proposed $300 million more than 2018, which included a one-time fund that would be used for deferred maintenance.

Sac State political science professor Andrew Hertzoff said he thought Newsom was being more cautious than expected with the new proposal.

“He has embraced less of a fiscally conservative view of what would make California’s budget healthy,” Hertzoff said. “Smart investments will continue and lead to greater growth and keep us on a decent trajectory.”

Theodros Woldemariam, a junior majoring in political science, said he would like to see more funding go to higher education.

“There is more students than seats in the classroom,” Woldemariam said. “I would like to see more jobs for professors and more classrooms available so students don’t miss the opportunity to take classes.”

The funding for student aid also saw a $289 million increase from Brown’s last proposal.

Newsom’s added $500 million to the natural resources fund which included $415 million for wildfires and supported clean drinking water.

He also proposed $172 million that would help improve the state’s emergency response communications.

The corrections and rehabilitation category were proposed $700 million more than in 2018.

Danielle Dobson, a senior majoring in criminal justice and sociology, said the extra $700 million proposed by Newsom was unnecessary.

“People in jail for the most part did something wrong, we don’t need to (be) spending additional money when their living conditions are up to sanctions,” Dobson said.

She added that she would have liked to see more funding towards student aid for allocated scholarships at each university.

The final spending plan for 2018 totaled $201.4 billion with an approved budget of the general funds totaling $138.7 billion.